Hoi Bo Stationery

Digging into the archives today for our first blog post in a while. This was a project that we produced for Blok Design who designed this rad identity system for Hoi Bo, a line of high-end bags and clothing.

Everything was printed using two letterpress inks, a dark navy blue and a soft pink. The bag images were converted to half-tone images (images made up of tiny dots, just like in old-school newspapers) in order for us to letterpress them. The business cards were printed on French Grout Grey 100# cover that was triplexed to a hefty 300# thickness before receiving the final abstract-shaped die cut. The origami inspired promo was printed on French Grout Grey 70# text and was hit with several score lines to ensure accurate folding when prepped for final in-store presentation.

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2015 SOF Letterpress Calendar

I bet you thought we forgot, but have no fear, our annual calendar collaboration is here! We’re just wrapping up our busiest year to date (and recovering from a bout of plague that swept through the shop), so it’s debuting a little later than planned, but holy hell, did our guest illustrators really nail it. As it goes every year, we here at SOF choose a theme, color palette, and paper stocks before asking 5 illustrators to create custom artwork for two months each. The theme for this year is Folklore: Legends, Heroes, and Myth, so we ended up with some killer characters. Roman gods, fairy tales, literary heroes, and woodland creatures are just the tip of the iceberg. Huge shout-out to our illustrators: Valerie Jar, Brian Gunderson, Drew Millward, Tyler Gross, and Mattson Creative. As for the technical specs: these bad boys were letterpress printed with four inks on our largest Heidelberg cylinder press. We printed all twelve months and the outer wrap on one press sheet, French Poptone Whip Cream 140#, and then trimmed everything down to final size (the wraps also received an additional run through the press to get scored). The easel stand was letterpress printed with a tonal ink color (to give it that rad woodgrain effect) on a custom duplexed stock consisting of French Speckletone Kraft 100# and French Speckletone Chocolate 100#. After printing the stand was diecut and hand assembled. These are for sale now in our online store! As an added bonus, use the code SOF2015 to get $10 off! (Code valid thru the end of Jan 2015.) SOF_2015CAL__0000_cover SOF_2015CAL__0001_allcards SOF_2015CAL__0002_july SOF_2015CAL__0003_jan

Studio On Fire Steamroller Print Fair

We like to make things. it’s one of our shop mottos. On a daily basis we make things by pushing the limits of modern letterpress: using the photopolymer plates that we fabricate in-house to produce hairline strokes and the tiniest of type. In an effort to push our boundaries and break free from our routine (tiny type be damned), we recently decided that we were going to go big. Steamroller big. Intrigued by the steamroller events we had seen pop-up around the country, we wondered what would happen if we incorporated such machinery into one of our notorious open houses. This was going to take more than just a sketch, we decided the only way to find out if we could pull this off was to actually rent a steamroller, take to the parking log, and run some shit over.

A design announcing our future print fair/open house (currently scheduled for the spring of 2015) was designed, sketched onto a sheet of plywood and turned into an oversized wood plate. A team effort, the plate was hand carved in just under a week using a dremmel and hand chisels. Ever the historical nerds, we wanted to throw a nod to Gutenberg and the origins of letterpress by integrating moveable type into our parking lot shenanigans. Knowing we were going to run things over with a steamroller, this type was going to have to be big. Really big. In the end we had custom 19” tall letters CAD cut, adding the backer boards ourselves by hand. Creating the type was only half the battle, how would all this type sit on the asphalt? How would it all lock up? The final solution was building a massive, 16’ x 4,’ custom wooden base with rails, which would allow us to screw down the oversized letters and move the type on the fly. Once the prep work was completed, we spent two days typesetting and inking in the parking lot of our northeast Minneapolis studio with two steamrollers (renting those is a whole other story). In addition to our hand carved plate, we printed several panagrams (sayings that include all the letters of the alphabet), really getting the most mileage out of our custom moveable type. Family and friends floated in and out, acting as extra hands when needed; the weekend wrapping up with us having the confidence that we can pull this off (or at least attempt it) in a public arena. We’re currently planning a print fair for the coming spring, we’ll loop you in when we have more details.

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The prints from this test are on display in the gallery at the Hamilton Wood Type museum, where we’re also going to be teaching a workshop this weekend. To top everything off our buddy Brendan Lauer came by and made this video for us as part of his 50 Videos/50 Weeks project. So rad.

Studio on Fire’s Steamroller Print Fair from Brendan Lauer on Vimeo.

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Honey Labels

This spring we were approached by Turkey Hill Apiary, located just south of us in Lakeville, MN, to redesign and letterpress print labels for their wildflower honey. This isn’t just any honey, either, it’s natural honey that is aged in micro-distiller barrels!

There are two flavors, bourbon and rye whiskey, both of which we can confirm are just as tasty as you’d hope they would be. We designed the labels to have the aesthetics of an old liquor bottle or newspaper, mostly typographic combined with some clean line work. Once the design phase was complete the labels were letterpress printed on Strathmore Soft White Label stock in two inks, black for the bourbon and a maroon for the rye whiskey. After printing they were kisscut, meaning we diecut through the labels, but not through the backing of the label stock, allowing them to be peeled from the backing during labeling process (done by hand by the beekeeper at the apiary).SOF__0000_TurkeyHill_01_bourbon.jpg SOF__0003_TurkeyHill_04_bourbonSide2.jpg SOF__0004_TurkeyHill_05_rye.jpg

Pub Pass

Do you like beer? How about an excuse to try a lot of different beers? How about a guide to bars around the Twin Cities? Behold, the PubPass was practically created just for you! The concept is pretty genius: you buy the Pub Pass booklet for $25 bucks and then at each bar included in the book (25 of them) you get a free beer! If we did the math correctly (we’re not usually here to do math), that works out to a dollar a beer, what a deal.

Not to mention, you get this oh-so-perdy passport book to keep track of your adventure. We were stoked to produce the covers, stamping 1 metallic gold foil and 1 pigment white foil onto a 20 pt chipboard before scoring and sending off to Shapco for binding (also where the gutt was offset printed).

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Studio On Fire Capabilities Journal

Another goodie that we created to take with to the National Stationery Show was this pocket sized journal. We wanted to make something that not only explains all of the different process that we offer, but shows them. We sent the cover through the press over a handful of times to letterpress, foil stamp, engrave, foil emboss, tonal letterpress, emboss, deboss, and diecut. (We’ll do some additional posts in the near future to outline each of those processes in more detail.)

The cover is French Steel Grey 100# Cover with a French Banana Split 70# Text flysheet. For the gutt we letterpress printed a variety of text weight stocks with a tonal grid. To finish it off everything was saddle sewn together with a bright red thread and the corners rounded.

We had several people ask about getting these on our Instagram, so we’ve put all of the extras up in the store for only a dollar (plus shipping).

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All projects produced in our shop are custom. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for printing or design services, please use the request an estimate feature on our website.

2015 SOF Special Edition Letterpress Calendar

When we started planning what we were going to take to the National Stationery Show we decided to create a desktop calendar with all 12 months illustrated by Studio On Fire (no need to fret, we still plan on making our traditional calendar with a slew of illustrator friends). This special edition for 2015 features illustrations of some of our favorite things around the shop (though we must admit we struggled to make the entire thing not about food… we love food).

As for process, we sent the calendar stand into production first, giving ourselves enough time to duplex the stock (French Steel Grey 100# cover and French Banana Split 100# cover), letterpress print, diecut, and hand assemble each one. Simultaneously, all of the pages were letterpress printed with four inks (including one fluorescent and one metallic) on one press sheet (French Sweet Tooth 140# cover). The pages were then cut down, nestled into the stand, and packaged in the final letterpress printed wrap.

We ended up depleting most of our inventory at the show, however we do have a handful of these available for purchase in our online store.

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All projects produced in our shop are custom. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for printing or design services, please use the request an estimate feature on our website.

Custom Diecut Wedding Invitations

Whenever designer  Priya Patel, of Pomegranita, brings us a design to produce we know it’s going to be stunning (remember this?), and this invitation suite is no exception. Clean typography, a limited color palette, and a dash of pattern all show off the sexy custom diecuts. An important design detail to note is how the thin gold border on the invitation is a decent distant from the diecut edge, allowing for minuscule shits in registration during production without the border looking completely off kilter on the finished product.

A single gold ink was letterpress printed on French Poptone Pink Lemonade 140C before the pieces received the final diecut.


All projects produced in our shop are custom. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for printing or design services, please use the request an estimate feature on our website.

Studio On Fire Ink Knife Promo

When you have a pressroom full of gadgets (and more importantly, people who know how to use them) the possibilities for self promotion pieces are endless. Recently we decided to make an oversized business card based on one of our most used pressroom tools, the palette knife.

Orange ink was laid down first, followed by an overprinting of blue ink on the handle to make the brown woodgrain handle, in addition to giving it a dirty ink spattered quality. French PopTone Sweet Tooth 100# Cover was used on the outside, with a 100# Tangy Orange triplexed down the center, ending with a total thickness of 400# cover. A custom die cut finished the piece off nicely.

All projects produced in our shop are custom. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for printing or design services, please use the request an estimate feature on our website.

Dogwood Zamboni Print

We drink a lot of coffee around here (more than we should probably admit to) and it’s all from our friends over at Dogwood Coffee. We regularly print their labels and last summer they asked us to create a poster to commemorate the release of their cold brew, named after the legendary ice resurfacing machine, the Zamboni (for those of you who don’t live in hockey central like we do, here’s a little video that explains exactly what a Zamboni does). Dogwood was able to obtain the original patent for the machine and asked that we use it as the focal point of the design. We were only too happy to oblige, as the line work in the schematic sketches was ideal for letterpress printing (line work prints much cleaner than flat areas of color). The final design was letterpress printed using two inks on Crane Lettra Ecru 110# cover stock. All projects produced in our shop are custom. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for printing or design services, please use the request an estimate feature on our website.

supr. Slim Wallet Packaging

Founded by brothers Aaron and Erik Melander, the Supr Good Co created “Slim,” the thinnest wallet ever. We’ve worked with Aaron on some past projects (remember this awesome Target Chalet piece?), so we knew this project was bound to be cool.

Letterpress printed with a single metallic silver ink on Cordenons Wild White 166# Cover before receiving an interior diecut, the packaging is simple and clever, just like the product. The guys even came into the shop during production and posted a great writeup and video on the Kickstarter project that started it all.


Slim – The Thinnest Wallet Ever. from Supr Good Co. on Vimeo.

All projects produced in our shop are custom. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for printing or design services, please use the request an estimate feature on our website.

 

Mode Set Bus Cards

These business cards designed by Amy Kitt for Mode Set are a great example of how to sucessfully incorporate a splash of metallic foil into a project.

A single grey ink was printed on both sides of a French Durotone Steel Grey 200# cover stock. To finish things off a small metallic foil icon was imprinted on the front of the cards. Subtle. Classy.

All projects produced in our shop are custom. If you are interested in obtaining a quote for printing or design services, please use the request an estimate feature on our website.