AIGA Minnesota put together a short video about our studio on their emerging designers web site. Check it out:
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.
So we got a call from Forbes last month. We did an interview about the resurgence of letterpress and talked about how modern photopolymer plating makes letterpress available to a more contemporary design aesthetic. But a lot of people are stuck with a mental image of letterpress as it came into mainstream design popularity several years back – distressed wood type, over inked artwork and a makeshift quality to the design that comes from using whatever typefaces and elements that happen to be on hand. Don’t get me wrong, I love Hatch Show Print and have been through the Nashville shop several times. But letterpress has a range far beyond that limited aesthetic. Pushing the medium is what our shop focuses on intently. To us, the resurgence of letterpress is this: making letterpress a viable commercial production method for contemporary design.
A few of the details in the article are a little fuzzy as they published my comments and I think she got a bit of a rise out of me. (yes, I realize if you have the patience and an extra hour or two, you can set some type on a curve with metal type, but that is certainly not commercially viable for our shop) The point was that I personally take issue with anyone that would say printing with polymer isn’t real letterpress. Yeah, we use polymer. It’s a means to an end. Different tools make different marks. Maybe we should call our work “civil union printing” rather than “letterpress” so all the ludites can feel better about their craft. :) The bottom line is that photopolymer represents a new range of possibilities for designers and for letterpress. We embrace that wholeheartedly, but still have a deep appreciation for all of those willing to toil over a case of lead type.
Check out the Forbes article here.
Here are some pics of a photopolymer job being set up to print.