These cards, designed by Jacob Ward have a heavy blind (inkless) letterpress impression on one side and black ink on the other. A blind hit needs a substantial amount of impression since it is relying only on the change in paper surface without any ink color to define the graphic. The large type size really pops on this card. If you have a good monitor and click through the pics below, you can see that even on a 220lb cotton stock there can be small amount of impression show through on the reverse side.
So often, what we do for our clients in the graphic design profession is disconnected from personal passions. This project managed to combine both food and design values. The food our family eats falls into a traditional foods diet, as recommended by the Weston Price Foundation. Which is why we were especially excited when Rebecca and Ross Williams asked us for business cards for their new adventure called Many Fold Farms. Their must-read blog is smartly written and shows a true passion for food and land. I’ve been learning about fine cheese and feeling a bit envious of their farming adventure.
This was both a design and print project for us, which is where our company can truly shine. Not that we don’t love printing the custom work of other designers and collaborating in the production process. We also love owning a design project from concept through production completion.
The design for the logotype merges custom 19th century inspired decorative capitals with slab serifs. We combined typographic texture with a folk inspired pierced tin borders and an inverted round corner die cut. The letterpress printing is on Crane Lettra Ecru (Ivory) 220lb Cover stock for a thick and soft feel in a nice warm color. We produced two different sizes – an oversized card with farm information and a smaller card with personal contact info.
Thinktopia®, an idea generation company for some of today’s leading brands, commissioned this striking poster from illustrator Federico Jordan. Federico explains “The skull reflects our existence and interior vision: our vanitas.” He created this image for Thinktopia that explores the Shakespearian Yorick, San Jerónimo and mesoamerican skull racks called Tzompantli. There is an article on the back of the poster from Patrick Hanlon at Thinktopia that speaks about branding. (This poster print will serve Thinktopia as a new business tool – a mailing to prospective clients) More companies could learn from this – send out something cool to start a good conversation. We would say that an illustrated letterpress print is guaranteed way to get someones attention.
The 18 x 23 size poster is printed letterpress in four colors on Crane Lettra Pearl White cotton stock in both 110 and 220lb thicknesses on our Heidelberg Cylinder – quite possibly one of the most difficult jobs run in our shop recently. It was difficult because of the amount large areas of solid color, the thickness and size of the stock, and the tight registration. There is no overprinting of any of the colors, so all four color plates lock into each other with little forgiveness for shifts in register created by sheet distortion. Sheet distortion is physical stretching of the paper created under heavy impression. Each pass through the press creates slightly more distortion. So by the time we got to color number four, there was some colorful language as well. The 110lb stock ran pretty well but the 220lb stock is a bear to auto feed – especially five passes through the press.
A strikingly simple business card designed by Blok Design out of Mexico City. Sweet type. We letterpress printed on some heavy 4 ply cotton museum board. Edged colored in a delicious yellow. A modern and materially elegant card indeed.
Designing your own wedding invitations has to be a designers most challenging project ever. And these are some to be proud of. The groom, Jefferson Perky of Perky Bros., designed these with an elegant typographic flair. They combine textural wood grain photography and letterpress printed type.
We produced these cards together on a 13 x 18 press sheet. The wedding invite was printed along with a save the date card, a thank you card, an accommodations card and a die cut vertical belly band. The stock was 100% cotton 110lbC Pearl White Crane Lettra. The wood grain was digitally printed, then the black type was letterpress printed.
When thinking about doing a letterpress wedding invitation it is important to consider all the cards you need upfront. We ultimately print everything together – saving us time and our clients cost. (Example – if you know you need a thank you card, plan to print it with the main invitation set.)
Erin Jang designed this custom wedding project for Marci and Ben with a unique combination of letterpress and digital printing. The typography here really has a beautiful touch – even with lots of different typefaces, the design is balanced and elegant. Not always an easy thing to do. We also like how the mini envelope on the invitation card creates another level suspense in opening the invitation.
We printed the letterpress portion of the project with 220lb Crane Lettra in an Ecru color and returned them to Erin for finishing. (They needed them quickly, and yes we are always doing some sort of rush custom letterpress work) These cards then had a unique small envelope afixed to them which contains the digitally printed red invitation. Also worth a produciton note is the perf that separates the map and the rsvp card into two parts. We used a fairly coarse perforating rule – about 20 tpi. (teeth per inch) A very thick stock needs enough paper left intact on the perf so it doesn’t just accidently fall off. It’s always worth having several kinds of perf rule around to test the stock and use the one that works best. The difference between a perf that just won’t tear clean and one that falls apart to easy can be tricky to balance. We keep rule around from around 18 tpi up to 100 tpi micro perf.
Check out Erin Jangs blog for more sweet design work. And if you want more, this invite has also been bloggity blogged on some of our favorite sites including Design Sponge, Black Eiffel and Mint Design Blog.
We worked with Vermont couple Dana and Katie to design and letterpress print their wedding invitations. They had a custom silhouette using their own hands to make a heart shape produced by Le Papier Studios. We used this motif throughout the invitation stationery. The soft cotton paper and bright blue silhouettes are contrasted with a simple recycled brown bag envelope and typewriter style navy typography – just the right balance of a raw yet refined style. The invites are printed in a square format with 2 inks on Crane Lettra, 100% cotton stock. All the cards were letterpress printed together on a 13 x 13 press sheet for cost effective production.
Dana and Katie are excited to be on the cusp of history, celebrating just after Vermont legalizes gay marriage on September 1st. Congrats!
We just love folks that can blur the line between the disciplines of design and illustration. Jessica Hische is certainly one of those rarities. Be sure and check out her site for more great hand lettering and typography. She designed these business cards for new project by Mischa and Jacob DeHart called Culinary Culture – A Site for Serious & Aspiring Foodies. We letterpress printed these cards on 220lb Crane Lettra, 100% cotton stock. They are printed three colors on the logo side and two colors on the text side. Additionally, the logo side needed the dark red run as two passes – something we often do in letterpress when there is a solid area of color and text on the same plate. The heavy ink density needed to cover a solid versus the light ink density for text lets the type remain crisp and the solid run as saturated as possible. (That means this piece of paper ran through the press six times – four on front, two on back.) And of course they just wouldn’t be complete without some edge coloring. These have a contrasting green edge which is nice and noticeable on the thick 220lb stock. We usually recommend edge coloring be applied to stock heavier than 160lbC. Coloring can be applied to thinner sheets, but the effect is more pronounced with thicker paper.
Fuel is a great creative shop in Iowa that sent us this unique business card design for Whatsup Juggling. It is letterpress printed on thick 220lb Crane Lettra cotton paper. The inks are orange, blue and a custom contaminated opaque white. The card was then die cut into 2.5 inch circles. We then tried to juggle them. Business cards are really hard to juggle.
Some production notes: The original intent was to have the white printing be a blind (inkless) impression. However, where those blind areas of text line up to one another from one side of the card to the other, there is a push back on the impression. When there is no ink to even out the visual appearance, legibility can suffer where the impression overlaps from side one to side two. Putting a white ink down contaminated with a bit of silver ink helps even out the look and gives the general appearance of a blind hit. Check out the pics for comparison. Still subtle, but with a hair more contrast than a true blind impression.