Folks, it’s a Christmas miracle: we’ve got our 2016 Letterpress Calendar up in the shop before the New Year! We’ve got a new crew of illustrators and fresh color palette to knock your socks off (it’s seriously bright).
Illustrators include longtime friend and contributor Brian Gunderson alongside first-time calendar collaborators: Jesse Lindhorst, Invisible Creature, Tom Froese and Bill Ferenc.
Studio On Fire chose the ink colors (a blazing take on the traditional CMYK palette, subbing a fluorescent pink in for the magenta and a dark navy instead of black) and paper colors before setting the illustrators loose on our theme for the year: Home. Normally we don’t expound too much on how we choose the theme, but this year with our big move we’re pretty excited to have a new place to call home (our very own building in St. Paul, just a few miles from our previous Mpls location), so we were excited to see what “home” meant to all of our contributors, too.
Papers are all from French: the pages are 100# French Poptone Sweet Tooth, while the stand is made out of a stock that we custom duplexed in-house using French Poptone Blu Raspberry and French Construction Nightshift Blue. All of the months, along with the outer wrap, were letterpress printed with four inks on one sheet before getting cut down and hand collated. The stands are letterpress printed, scored, diecut and hand assembled (note: “hand-assembled” is code for “time consuming handwork” that we have a love/hate relationship with).
Ben posted some great process photos on our Instagram, so be sure to pop over there if you’re curious.
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.)
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.
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.
The 2014 Studio On Fire letterpress printed desktop calendar, a project that has been happening annually for over a decade, has recently been completed and now ready for purchase over in our shop.
Each year we here at Studio On Fire select ink colors, paper stocks, and a come up with a theme before asking a slew of illustrators to join us in creating custom artwork for each month. This year we tackled January and October, the remaining months feature illustrations from the ever talented: Beeteeth, Lab Partners, Brian Gunderson, Jolby, and Kate Bingaman-Burt.
The theme for 2014 was “Happy Place,” playing on the concept that your happy place might be an actual place or maybe just something small in your life that brings you joy. From kittens to castles and coffee to burgers, this year is chock-full of delightful illustrations to keep you in a good mood all year (small disclaimer: you might get very hungry some months).
As for the nitty-gritty print specifications, there are two major components of this calendar: the easel stand and the calendar pages themselves. The production of the easel stand started with us creating a custom duplexed stock comprised of French PopTone Sno Cone 100# cover and French Construction Grout Grey 100# cover. After duplexing the stands were letterpress printed with a tonal ink before being diecut and hand assembled. Our favorite feature of the stand is on the back where the diecut allows you to get a peek at the Sno Cone blue paper.
The calendar pages were all printed at the same time on one press sheet, French Speckletone Starch White 140# cover, alongside the outer wrap that uses bits and pieces of imagery from the calendar months. Though the color palette is slightly more traditional than we’ve used in the past, (a pale blue, orangey red, mustardy yellow and a metallic champagne in place of black), we think the colors kept the everything feeling bright and cheery (and allowed for beautiful overprinting).
Available for purchase right now in our store, and for a limited time the promo code SOF2014 will get you one for only $20 bucks!
Pivot Interiors once again embraced their California heritage when designing their 2013 desktop calendar that we produced for them. In 2012 they featured classic California architecture and this year they showcased some of the golden state’s most notable cultural treasures.
All of the monthly pages were run at the same time on one large press sheet, which helps keep some costs down (we only had to set up and wash up each color once), but can also cause some challenges on press. As sheets are run through the press over and over, the paper can begin to warp, wreaking havoc on registration. Taking the time to properly trap all of the artwork in the prepress stage and watching the amount of impression while on press can help quell this.
The pages and outer folding wrap were printed on one of our large cylinder presses with four inks on Mohawk Via Vellum Bright White 100# cover. The desktop stand was letterpress printed with one ink on a custom duplexed stock comprised of Mohawk Bright White 100# cover and French Poptone Blu Raspberry 100# cover. After printing the stand was custom diecut and hand assembled.