Rolling into our store just in the nick of time for Christmas (so would that be in the Saint Nick of time?) is our annual Studio On Fire Letterpress Calendar.
Each year our studio picks a theme, a color palette, and paper stocks before recruiting crush-worthy illustrators to join us in creating custom art for each month. We claimed the January and July pages for ourselves before inviting Brian Gunderson, the Jolby dudes, John Malta, Sasha Prood, and Karolin Schnoor to round out our cast of contributors for 2013.
Artists were given the theme of Lucky Number 13 and asked to interpret it at will, resulting in a multitude of superstitious icons and ironic illustrations. We designed the tri fold outer wrap by stealing bits and pieces from the monthly illustrations, collaging them in a long strip to be trimmed off the press sheet and later used for packaging.
The calendar pages and outer wrap were letterpress printed with four inks all together on a large 26 x 20 size press sheet of Mohawk Milkweed 160C. After printing the individual months were trimmed down to a finished size of 3.25 x 5 inches.
To make the stand we first duplexed Mohawk Via Vellum Safety Yellow 80C to Decorated Paper Brilliance 12pt Tinsel Holographic to create a thick custom stock. After imprinting the stands with a tonal letterpress varnish they were custom diecut and hand assembled with the holographic stock on the inside (allowing a hint of holographic stock to peek out when the support of the stand is kicked out on your desk).
As a special bonus we are offering free DOMESTIC USA shipping on the 2013 calendars thru December 16. Enter coupon code FREESHIP (all caps, one word) in your cart.
If you’re curious, previous years can be viewed on our site: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008.
These beautifully patterned, slightly oversized, cards for Julie Dasher Rugs were created by Minneapolis designer Laurie DeMartino. With a common brown and yellow footer on each card, each rug inspired pattern features a different color from Julie’s brand identity. The reverse of each card shares a common pattern with the front, but is printed using a tonal varnish, allowing the contact information along the bottom to spring forward as the focal point.
Letterpress printed on French Poptone Whipped Cream 140C, custom duplexed after printing to make 280C.
Utilizing their existing logo, we designed and produced these cards for Ilumini Photography Arts, a wedding and fine art photographer based out of Hawaii. After creating a type lockup for the contact information we designed a custom diecut that would elegantly frame the ornate “I” logo.
Letterpress printed with metallic silver ink on Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 110C and a tonal varnish on the Wausau Royal Complements Eclipse Black 100C, these stocks were duplexed after printing before receiving the final diecut.
These cards designed by Villainy and Associates really make you stop and turn the thing over in your hand. The understated typographic design gives the letterpress production value emphasis. It’s simple and pseudo executive – flashy without being too flashy.
We printed letterpress metallic gold for the information and letterpress varnish on the logotype. We like using a varnish on dark stocks for a tone on tone effect. That gives a slightly better legibility than a totally blind, inkless impression. The stock is a thick 200lb Wausau Eclipse Black with metallic gold edge coloring.
We love involved custom production projects with other design firms – especially identity systems. The refined work of designer Laurie DeMartino exemplifies the level of production we strive for in our letterpress shop. A keen eye for detailed type and color makes her design work striking. In fact, we believe she has a sixth sense related to finessing details. We worked with her to produce this identity system by matching her attention to detail on press.
Some noteworthy things about this system:
We partnered with another vendor to produce the offset floods of color on the letterhead and envelopes. Those big fields of color are next to impossible to hold consistent on letterpress. We can do larger areas of color (we did it on the note card and business card) but there is more variation in letterpress printing than in offset. When that variation is desirable we will print a flood of color on certain stocks. When it is not desirable, we recommend combining letterpress with offset. (Yes, that adds cost.) It is worth noting that we can print a large press sheet and often work in tandem with commercial offset printing.
Business Cards are 5 PMS /1 PMS. We matched the ink printed offset with our letterpress ink.
All the type and small graphics are letterpress printed. Light colored type is a heavy impression with custom mixed varnish. You can see in the letterhead detail and business card detail the show through on the reverse of the sheet.
The envelope is custom converted and has a perforation line across the flap.