An essential reason French Paper Company stands out in a world of large paper conglomerates is their unique design affair. They’ve had a longstanding relationship with Charles Spencer Anderson Design here in Minneapolis that has fueled and produced arguably some of the most visual ephemera to promote paper in the last decade. And trust us, here at Studio On Fire we see A LOT of promotional materials from paper companies. We were excited to be a part of that legacy with the latest French Paper promotion – a paper “Air Kraft” designed by the crew at CSA Design.
We worked closely with CSA to finalize the production. The sheets are letterpress printed in two colors on French Speckletone Kraft 140lbC. These Air Kraft are actually flight worthy, but you have to be sure to follow the instructions and tape a dime into the nose of the plane for a good glide.
Speckletone Kraft is one of those papers great for designers who fall in love with chipboard, only to realize that actual raw chip does not have color specifications. (In a batch of chipboard stock you may get some gray sheets or some dark brown sheets, it just depends on what went into the pulper) We like to use it especially when matching envelopes are needed.
This coffee label packaging was designed locally by Holmberg Design. Dogwood Coffee Company is a small coffee roaster based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota (and generously present at our last studio party.) They source, roast and serve some truly amazing coffees. And what is especially unique to the experience of Dogwood Coffee is the single cup brewing. Visit them and always expect a well crafted, fully realized flavor. And be sure to take beans home in one of these delicious bags. This is the good stuff, these guys love crafting coffee as much as we love letterpress.
We printed these with two colors – a red and a very light gray /nearly blind ink for the diamond texture. They are printed on our house label stock which is Strathmore Writing, Ultimate White Wove. This label takes a stiff impression and has a bit of tooth and texture that adds to the artisanal quality of letterpress. They are kisscut two up on an 8.5 x 11 sheet. They are cleverly designed to be end user friendly with use of simple rubber stamp imprints specific to the roasted microlots. Overprinting the stamp on the letterpress imprint gives the surface another layer of texture.
Also see the “Reserve” coffee labels we printed previously (when Dogwood was still a part of Bull Run Roasting) also created by Holmberg Design.
We’ve worked with BAKER here in Minneapolis on a few really fun letterpress projects over the last year or so. And they’ve designed some beautiful things for pressing. Most recently, their second installment of the bird themed holiday ornament cards rolled off the press. It is a little bird (a good luck Cardinal) with an ornate frame that die cuts and punches out of thick 60 point blotter stock. It is printed two color each side.
Last years card for Baker was a die cut bird ornament as well. The same production specs, but featuring a punch out owl.
Also in the last few months, we worked through the letterpress printing of the new Baker identity on their business cards. And is was quite the undertaking. They have an interesting post about the process of icon development here. Each employee has their own icon and each card has four color ways. With over 60 employees that was a lot of icons and business cards! They are a custom duplexed 200lbC black and white stock in an undersized narrow card format. (1 x 3.5 inches) BAKER is printed in silver on the black side and the white side receives the four different color variations.
BAKER is a Minneapolis based Branding + Design firm specializing in package design. On the web: bkrdsn.com or tweet: @bkrdsn
These letterpress business cards were the perfect fit for web development and design company Ackmann & Dickenson. We like how these guys frame their business as “Craftsmen of Fine Technology”. They designed these cards and we letterpress printed them to reflect craftsmanship.
And this card did require some crafting. We started with the making of a custom duplex paper – 160lb Mohawk Loop Ivory Smooth pasted to French Construction Nightshift Blue 100C – totaling a thick 260lbC card. Next we letterpress printed them with two colors on each side, silver and tonal navy inks on the blue side, then blue and gray inks on the ivory side. We printed a couple 8up forms to meet all the employee name versions needs and then die cut them with small inverted corners. Viva tactility and technology.
We designed and letterpress printed bath salt labels for Connecticut based Rain Soaps. This salt is hand harvested (by monks in France) and uniquely presented in its natural state in an apothecary-style sealed glass jar.
We ran the three labels together on a small press sheet. The paper is a crack and peel Strathmore Soft White label stock. It is printed in one color and kiss cut to final size. Ahh, I’m more relaxed just looking at them.
These are the brand new cards for Dita Eyewear in Los Angeles. Bryan Crabtree designed them and did a nice post over on his blog too. The blind flourish on the light side and the diamond pattern on the black gives these cards a tonal and elegant look.
We first printed these as two sheets, a natural color and black stock and then pasted the sheets together after printing. This step eliminates show through of the impression when printing a two sided design. We’ve found that the gluing of the sheet after it is printed does flatten back some of the impression, so we start with a heavy impression initially. The lighter color stock is Wausau Compliments Natural White 100lbC and is printed with a blind pass and black ink. The black stock is Wausau Eclipse Black 100lbC and is printed with PMS 8001 silver and black ink. The final thickness is 200lbC, about the thickness of a US dime. After printing and gluing, the cards were die cut to the final shape with angled corners.
Six Speed sent us this design for custom letterpress business cards. They are a specialized events marketing company here in Minneapolis. And what could be a better business card job really – crushing AND burning all on the same press sheet.
The cards were letterpress printed on 200lb Eclipse Black Wausau with silver ink, then the press sheet was laser cut. The laser cutting was used due to the complexity of the cutting die and the size of the print run. Laser cutting does a really nice job, especially on darker stocks were the edge burn is less evident. With lighter colored and white stocks, a mask is sometimes sometimes required to prevent burning marks on the face of the sheet.
Not that a heart felt email blast or animated web message for the holidays isn’t all well and good, but as you may have guessed we are suckers for a good old fashioned ink on paper. The next few days, we’ll show some previous custom holiday projects we’ve letterpress printed in the hopes of inspiring your own letterpress holiday projects. The holiday card seems to be one of those notorious last minute tasks for creative types. We are already heavily into estimating custom cards for many designers. And as much as we love rushing last minute projects, earlier is always better and leaves many more production options available. Word to the wise, ask us early for an estimate on your project.
Who says typographic characters don’t make delightful tree ornaments? This card was designed by Katie and Nate over at Eight Hour Day. The green combined with hot pink makes a unique holiday color combo. The card was die cut to produce two parts for a desktop Christmas tree, to be decorated further with objects on your desktop. It was letterpress printed on thick Fox River Blotter stock from Neenah Paper. Since the paper is produced without any surface sizing the blotter sheet has a more mottled appearance in how the textured surface accepts a large solid ink area like the green tree. This gives the printed piece some additional tactile quality. Fa la la la la, ooolala.
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.)