Digging into the archives today for our first blog post in a while. This was a project that we produced for Blok Design who designed this rad identity system for Hoi Bo, a line of high-end bags and clothing.
Everything was printed using two letterpress inks, a dark navy blue and a soft pink. The bag images were converted to half-tone images (images made up of tiny dots, just like in old-school newspapers) in order for us to letterpress them. The business cards were printed on French Grout Grey 100# cover that was triplexed to a hefty 300# thickness before receiving the final abstract-shaped die cut. The origami inspired promo was printed on French Grout Grey 70# text and was hit with several score lines to ensure accurate folding when prepped for final in-store presentation.
We just got these suckers back from Ideal Printers over in St. Paul- designed by SOF and offset printed (feasibility and cost issues made it much more reasonable for offset) for The College of Visual Arts– in St. Paul as well.
In order to make the colors on this guy pop as hard as possible we swapped out the standard CMY inks with their florescent equivalent. The actual design process was one of the funnest yet- we took various wood type and ran scrap paper through a little tabletop proofing press and immediately sprayed with our press wash-up solvent and then isopropyl alcohol to make interesting splatters / streaks / clouds / etc. The solvent and the alcohol has the same effect when mixed as gas and water.
Yael Miller designed these beautiful labels for a new company called the Painted Pretzel. She is also a contributor at another site we love – thedieline.com And these hand crafted gourmet pretzels are worth the letterpress labels. Here are some details on the production:
We printed an 8.5 x 11 sheet of Strathmore Ultimate White Wove crack and peel label stock. Unlike many kinds of label sheets, this stock takes a great letterpress impression. This sheet was printed with five spot colors and a kiss cut in tight register. (For letterpress, that’s six times through the press) The kiss cut is a die cutting process which is also able to run on the letterpress. The same as die cutting, but care has to be taken to cut only through the label and not through the backer sheet that peels away.
The printing of this sheet was an intensive bit of letterpress. With floods of color and fine type everywhere the ink density had to right on for everything to print crisply. Note how there is a salty look to the color, more so in the brown ink. This is so we didn’t over ink the fine type elsewhere on the brown plate. There is even a good example of a letterpress halftone on the pretzel in the center. Mmmm.
Atmosphere is heading out for their When God Gives You Ugly tour. We just finished a special edition letterpress poster designed by Keith Wiliams. It features a “1950’s Diner Vampire Fight Scene” watercolor painting by Minneapolis native Michael Gaughan. (If you check out Michael’s website, be sure and see the collection of guitar sculptures. But don’t look to long or you might find the Fart Tube Air Matress) Posters will be available from Atmosphere while they tour and also for sale on the Rhymesayers site after the tour, if there are any left. So get out there and support these guys.
From a technical standpoint, this poster was a real challenge to plate and letterpress print. We took the original CMYK image of the watercolor painting and Continue reading ‘Atmosphere Letterpress Poster’
This design poetry is from Jeff Johnson and the esteemed crew at Spunk Design Machine in Minneapolis, done for the Univeristy of Minnesota. They have a keen sense of design experimentation and always seem to keep things playful. For this poster, there are only three ink colors printed but the beauty of overprinting those colors really creates some dimension in the artwork. The art work is a mix of vector and raster. You can see the detail shots of the halftone images, they are pretty course line screens. The final poster is pinhole perforated into a three parts giving the whole piece a sweet little bit of texture.
Old travel destination postcards always offer typographic treats. Barrett Haroldson over at Colle McVoy designed some type on these postcards every bit as tasty. We love the mix of haltone texture and overprinting. They are 3/3 letterpress printed on the same press sheet using our big 13 x 18 Heidelberg Windmill running up a stack of 60 point blotter board. That mother turns it out.
I’m no sportsman, but these almost make me want to go fishing. Fishington is great resource to do just that, is spring here yet? And certainly check out Barretts blog.
Kelly English is a Minneapolis designer who worked with us on our Charmed and Sweetheart Seamstress Deskline stationery. Those paper goods are for sale on our Studio Site. We were excited to print her own card design. Her approach to the standard business card takes good advantage of a press sheet. We print them all the same time and trim them down.
A note about halftones – Letterpress can print screens of a color like offset, but the line screen is heavier. Think about it as a black and white newspaper image. We can comfortable hold on to about 80dpi on the typical uncoated papers. You can see the halftone detail in these cards creates an amazing texture. And with the overprinting magenta and yellow duotone – those girls are HOT.