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.
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Cricket Design Works, located in Madison Wisconsin (the cheese capital of the world… at least in our eyes) designed this awesome poster for eatwisconsincheese.com. You may remember some of the other projects that Cricket has sent our way in the past, but this poster is probably one of the most coveted prints around the shop due to our over-the-top obsession with cheese.
This was letterpress printed using three inks on Crane Lettra 110# Cover stock, a cotton fiber stock that is one of Studio On Fire’s favorites due to the impression depth we can achieve on the soft surface. Be sure to take a a little time to check out the illustrations, they were created with a lot of attention to detail, however they’re pretty forgiving on registration due to their sketchy nature.
Cricket Design Works is a full-service visual communications consultancy based out of Madison, Wisconsin. We printed their multi-colored business cards a few years back and completed this tasty poster duo for them just this past winter. Appealing to both our eyes and taste buds, these illustrative posters were letterpress printed on Crane Lettra Pearl White cotton stock wtih three inks, a green, an orange, and a brown common to both versions. Nestled amongst a massive amount of foodie knowledge, the illustrations keep solid areas of color to a minimum, really showing off the letterpress impression with some hand drawn line work.
Our latest print, which has also been added to our online store, is a poster created for the 6th installment of Poster Offensive (a bipartisan political poster show that happens every two years, coinciding with elections) which was hosted by Big Table Studio in downtown St. Paul this past November.
The poster measures out at 13″ x 20″, with four inks (three beautifully overprinting and a fourth offering some sage words of wisdom) letterpress printed in our Minneapolis studio on Crane Lettra Pearl White 110 lb cover.
We recently produced this stationery suite designed by Together We Create for the Massachusetts based film company Mystic Artists. The design called for two-toned edgecoloring–a production first for our studio–with two edges colored bright teal and the remaining two sporting a nearly-flourescent red. The outcome is fairly stunning, if we do say so ourselves. The business cards were printed on Crane Lettra Flo White 90C custom duplexed after printing to make a 180lb thickness. Letterhead was printed on Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 80T with a coordinating 70T pre-converted square flap #10 envelope.
Based out of San Francisco, Passing Notes designed this beautiful stationery system for Muhs Home, an online store retailing elegant home furnishings and accessories. Refined typography utilized two inks alongside chic illustrations. Since the illustrations were printed with no ink, what is referred to as a blind impression, we used a thick Crane Lettra Flo White 220 lb cover stock, allowing us to really go deep with the impression while reducing show through.
A husband and wife photography team, Finessence Photography had just adopted a new moniker and was looking for a fresh look when they approached us to handle their rebrand and produce their print collateral. While we spend a lot of time (happily) printing for other designers, it’s always a treat for us to act as the design firm behind a project that hits our pressroom.
For the business cards we created a custom stock, duplexing Crane Lettra Flo White 110C and Beckett Concept Mohagany 130C. The rich mahogany stock was a great way for us to counterbalance the ultra-feminine flourish filled “F” we created for the main logo with something a little more masculine. A custom brown ink was mixed to match the mahogany stock for the crisp letterpress printed type sandwiched between two bands of a sculptural teal pattern. We were also able to use one of our favorite finishing techniques, giving the slightly undersized cards a splash of teal edge coloring.
After completing the business cards we proceeded to create a photo folio and gift certificate to round out their set of presentation materials. The structure of the photo folio is a call back to the flimsy paper sleeves drugstore prints used to come in, but this version is a bit fancier. A custom steel rule die line was created, which included an interior diecut to hold the business card, letterpress printed with two inks, hand assembled and kept closed with a velcro closure. We’re also pretty proud to say this system was a winner in the 2010 FPO Awards.
Designed for the ARTCRANK MSP 2012 show, our newest poster is an ode to all the radial objects in our life. With a bicycle wheel at the hub of the design, a hindu goddess, a space station and even a nipple made it on to the final print (not to be confused with the aureole that also appears, but we digress).
These were printed on one of our six Heidelberg cylinder presses (insert bragging here) on Crane Lettra Flo White 110c stock with one ink. Every print also got a blind hit of our studio seal, which required a second inkless run through the press.
Yes, you can buy one in our store.
These invites, designed by Douglas Behl for his upcoming nuptials, ooze summer. We can’t decide what we like more, the blazing split fountain color palette or the melty popsicle motif.
Split fountain printing is when we put two colors on the same roller, one on each end, allowing them to blend naturally in the middle, creating a gradient across the press sheet. This is a good way to get an extra color into your design without adding an extra plate. When planning a project that uses a split fountain across several pieces, keep in mind that the cards on either end of the press sheet end up being fairly one color. You can see in this instance the RSVP and Thank You cards were at opposite ends of the sheet, whereas the Invite and Details cards were placed in the middle where the color transition happened.
You can see split fountain printing in action in this video we took a few years back.
A new product we’ve been asking for (for several years) has finally arrived. Crane Lettra is now available as a 90lb cover stock that is thick, but not so thick, and good for duplexing.
Being the paper nerds that we are, we busted out our calipers to compare the thickness of duplexed Lettra stocks. Our 220lb Lettra stock calipers at .039″ (40pt) and the new 180lb cover stock calipers at .031″ (30pt), roughly a 25% reduction. Available in fluorescent white, pearl white and ecru, we’ve added this to our list of preferred house stocks.
Our first project to hit press with this new stock was for director Nathaniel Freeman. Letterpress printed with a navy ink and a custom varnish, the 90lb pearl white stock was duplexed after printing–concealing the impression show through in the center of the card. The finished product features a nice sculptural impression, but with slightly less bulk to the card.
Designed by Calgary based design studio Wax, these cards for a small business bookkeeper are quite possibly the smallest thing we’ve ever produced. Measuring out at a compact 1″ x .6,” the cards were so petit we were unable to trim these down using our paper cutter (there simply wasn’t anywhere to hold onto them) so a custom made 8up die was used. Printed on Crane Lettra Flo White 220c with one ink on both sides.
We photographed them with some firecrackers we had laying around the studio (what? don’t you have firecrackers on your desk?) to give you a better sense of their size.
Jane, from the family/design/lifestyle blog See Jane Blog, approached us to design and produce some fresh cards for her before she headed off to the annual Alt Summit blogger conference in January. Jane was great to work with, she had a few ideas and elements she wanted included but really lets us run and create something that would look great letterpress printed. Some of our favorite features include the custom diecut (designed to accentuate her signature asterisk) and the thin linework pattern (referencing back to her patterned blog header).
Production wise, these were printed on Crane Lettra Flo White 110lb cover stock that was custom duplexed to a 220lb weight after printing. With two inks, a blind impression and a custom diecut, the presssheet for these cards ran through the press a total of four times.
You can also read about these in a lovely post over on Jane’s blog.