Heads of State designed this F. Scott Fitzgerald inspired poster, capable of bringing tears of joy to English teachers and designers everywhere. It is an epic layout project containing 32 calling cards of fictitious Great Gatsby characters. Each card is its own nugget of typographic excellence modeled after 1920’s social stationery.
This was an ambitious letterpress printing. (did we mention 32 card designs up on a sheet) With its large size, four ink colors, full dry back between each color, tiny type plus full solid areas, tight register and heavy stock this took some patience on press. We printed on French Poptone Sweet Tooth 140lb C – a massive 20 x 26 press sheet trimming down to the final 18 x 24 inch poster.
This is a new letterpress print from Rilla Alexander. She’s been a part of our annual calendar project for several years, so we were super excited to be part of her Sozi character launch this month. This beauty as well as other well crafted Sozi items are available in her shop and also at Collette through the end of December.
We letterpress printed an edition of 100 in red ink on Pearl White Crane Lettra 110lb C. Actual size is 40cm x 30cm. Get one while they last.
This poster is a father and son collaboration. All elements are hand drawn by Koen (age 6) with a Sharpie marker at the dining room table, then arranged digitally. The type is the “Golden Rule” as penned in the honest hand of a child. Maybe what we learned in kindergarten is most important. It is 14 x 20 in size, letterpress printed in yellow and gold inks on Legion White Eco Rag, 600gsm. Available for sale on our site.
For their visit, we had a little project on press called “The Pressroom Creed” – printing on 220lb Lettra and will be available soon for sale on our site. It is an adaptation of the better known Rifleman’s Creed, but for letterpress printers. Seriously, everyone in our pressroom must memorize this and we say it together each morning.
This post is a recap of the fun we had this last weekend leading a press free, hand style letterpress workshop at AIGA Minnesota Design Camp. We were located in the wine cellar at Grandview Lodge in Nisswa, Minnesota. Over 300 designers attend this event annually. We did three sessions of this 1.5 hour long workshop with over 120 total attendees. The process was about putting down lots of ink quickly, creating textures, layers and happenstance in the layout and printing. No press required, no two prints alike. Studio On Fire brought in lots of good stuff: 10 large cases of our woodtype collection (about 400lbs of type, mostly Hamilton faces) Tape and cardboard (served as the bed of the press, tape held type in rough position) A wadded up paper towel was the “printing press” (used with hands to burnish the back of the sheets) Several dozen CSA images supplied on photopolymer plates (permission of CSA archives) Wood grain background textures (blasted with a powerwasher, then relief carved) Lots of good ol’ French Paper to print on (poptone sweet tooth and many many remnants) Ink and brayers (oil based inks and soft rubber rollers) It was a fluid process and a good chance for everyone to step away from the computer. A huge thanks AIGA Minnesota for having us and to the AIGA volunteers that supplied a steady stream of nature wash solvent to clean up and redistribute the wood type and images. And thanks to Phong Tran for his photo contributions. If you would like Studio On Fire to do a workshop with your group, let’s talk. Please do contact us for more information.
These two posters came to us from agency friends at Bailey Lauerman, illustrated by the ever fabulous Rilla Alexander of Rinzen. This TUNE project was sponsored via federal grant by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Bailey Lauerman launched TUNE which uses music to inspire young women to make better choices and live healthier lives. There are 8 selected artists out of 150 entries, and their music was written and recorded specific for this project. Songs are free to download from the TUNE website.
We printed the posters with a split ink fountain using florescent pink and blue inks which blended to a nice purple in the middle. We kept the lateral ink distribution setting at maximum spread for a good blend in the poster. It was printed on French Paper Poptone Whip Cream 140lbC.
This is an iphone video of the job on press. Lo res, but you’ll get the idea of how the fountain looks.
This poster was letterpress printed for the Artcrank poster show here in Minneapolis, which opened this last weekend. Since much of this show tends to be image and graphic heavy, we wanted our poster to stand apart with lettering only. It is an excerpt from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Considerations by the Way, 1860. The full sentence is actually, “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air’s salubrity.” (But “salubrity” is such an odd word and just didn’t work well in the design.) The lettering started as a hand drawn sketch, then refined in Adobe Illustrator. We printed with a photopolymer plate on Crane Lettra 300gsm Florecent White at 18 x 24 size. They are on display now at One On One in Minneapolis.
They sold well at the opening night and are still available. There was some confusion about them being sold out. They are $30, to be purchased at One On One Bike Shop.
You can also buy one, now for sale on our studio site as well. Cost is $40.
The simplest looking things can be deceptively complex. This is a tricky little business card and a typographic poster for Squarespace New York. Designed by their Creative Director Tyler Thompson. The design shows restraint, making the logo treatment the hero. And the format is a square card of course.
So why is the business card tricky? It is custom duplexed stock, letterpress printed, laser die cut and edge colored. We custom duplexed Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 110lb Cover up to a 220lb thickness. Then we letterpress printed them several up on a press sheet. A larger press sheet means we can economize the laser cutting by doing more at a time. The laser cutting can leave some scorch marks, so the sheet is masked with a paper tape that peels off after the cutting is complete. Then the sheet is trimmed up into cards and edge colored in black. That 220lb thickness shows off the edge and has a nice smooth surface. The poster is on Crane Lettra 110lb Flo white, pressed in a single PMS blue.
Feast is a recurring public dinner designed to use community-driven financial support to democratically fund new and emerging artmakers. We did a poster for the upcoming event here at Studio On Fire. The size is 18 x 24. It was a hand drawn sketch, scanned and converted to a bitmap tiff to preserve the sketch texture. It was printed with a split ink fountain. Our split fountain had fluorescent orange ink on one side of the press and light blue ink on the other side, creating a nice purple gradient in the middle.
This is our letterpress poster for the Toys In The Attic show opening at the Soo Visual Arts Center on Dec 4th from 6 to 9PM. The show features both custom toys and toy inspired posters. Proceeds benefit Toys For Tots. Hey, that’s tomorrow night! We hope to see you there.
These beasts are in fact our toys. The graphic beasts are constructed from various press parts and form into a crest that commemorates ten years of printing here at Studio On Fire. The dog latin phrase reads “Iron Beasts Make Great Beauty”. It is printed in fluorescent and dark silver inks on Crane Lettra Flo White 220lbC at 13 x 13 size.
It was ten years ago this month back in 1999 that the first C&P was lowered into the then basement studio. More to come on our own ten year anniversary party soon.