Space 150 is a Minneapolis based company that has made some waves in the creative community by reinventing its identity every 150 days. This version was designed by Evan Nagan. We’ve produced many previous Space 150 business card versions as well – see some of them here and here.
Like the previous versions we’ve printed, these business cards take some tricky production. They are printed three color offset on one side (flood of black, purple and blue) and 2 color letterpress printed on the reverse (blue and tonal white). They have a unique two color gradient treatment on their edges. The paper is Wausau Royal complements 100lb Bright White which is custom duplexed after offset printing to a final thickness of 200lb cover. For a great edge color effect we recommend a thickness of 160lb or greater. The thicker the better.
It’s a big task! Each identity version is cards for nearly 70 people…
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.
We print for other creative companies both large and small. Our friends in Designworks at BBDO in New York made up this gem of an identity system for their new post production suite called The Kitchen at BBDO. The system blends some fun patterns and crisp tiny type onto coasters, business cards and a CD package. And it was among the projects we printed that won a feature in the Print Design Annual.
It is a misconception that letterpress is only for small projects. We are not scared to run a big press sheet and handle large volume work. The 4 panel, 2 pocket CD package ran 2 up on our full size 18 x 23 sheet and was custom die cut and converted. The coasters and business cards ran together on a second sheet. And the details still look edible.
We love involved custom production projects with other design firms – especially identity systems. The refined work of designer Laurie DeMartino exemplifies the level of production we strive for in our letterpress shop. A keen eye for detailed type and color makes her design work striking. In fact, we believe she has a sixth sense related to finessing details. We worked with her to produce this identity system by matching her attention to detail on press. Some noteworthy things about this system: We partnered with another vendor to produce the offset floods of color on the letterhead and envelopes. Those big fields of color are next to impossible to hold consistent on letterpress. We can do larger areas of color (we did it on the note card and business card) but there is more variation in letterpress printing than in offset. When that variation is desirable we will print a flood of color on certain stocks. When it is not desirable, we recommend combining letterpress with offset. (Yes, that adds cost.) It is worth noting that we can print a large press sheet and often work in tandem with commercial offset printing. Business Cards are 5 PMS /1 PMS. We matched the ink printed offset with our letterpress ink. All the type and small graphics are letterpress printed. Light colored type is a heavy impression with custom mixed varnish. You can see in the letterhead detail and business card detail the show through on the reverse of the sheet. The envelope is custom converted and has a perforation line across the flap.
When Becky Rosenthal was launching her wedding photography business she asked us to both design and letterpress print her identity system. So many wedding invites are letterpressed, why not appeal to brides with the same tactility?
Here’s a couple design considerations for letterpress:
One of the things we like about letterpress is what happens to the white areas within a design. You can see in the logo below how the interior white spaces have a raised effect because the area around them is being pressed down. Creating those white spaces within a solid area is one of the things we try to include in our design work to show some dimension.
Another thing that works well in letterpress design is the inclusion of pattern. Rather than using large solid areas of color (which definitely are not well suited for letterpress) a flood of pattern adds both color and a texture that can be felt.
We get asked all the time if we offer both design and print services. The answer is a resounding yes. Here is an example of us doing the design and letterpress production for our client in Palm Beach.
If you are a designer and need a custom letterpress project printed up, talk to us for and estimate. Being designers ourselves, we know how important it is to have a great production partner.
Our friends at Mucca and Darden Studio sent this project our way. Darden typefaces are beautiful in utility with details that aren’t overworked. They are masters at creating a unique typographic voice. And letterpress printing just makes type that much sweeter.