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.
This stunning letterpress business card was designed by 485 inc. for an arts group called Artistaday. And as the name would imply, Artistaday is a website that has a daily fine artist featured. Great stuff too, make sure and check them out here.
The typographic design is nice and bold, making the blind (inkless) impression really stand out. These business cards do something that does take an extra production step – heavy impression on both sides that lines up from side to side. To get this blind type to look really look good and provide enough sculptural to keep it readable without ink, it needed to be printed as a single sheet, then pasted back to back after printing so the impression on one side wouldn’t flatten the impression on other. The cards were printed on 110lbC Crane Lettra, then glued together for the final 220lb thickness.
These cards, designed by Jacob Ward have a heavy blind (inkless) letterpress impression on one side and black ink on the other. A blind hit needs a substantial amount of impression since it is relying only on the change in paper surface without any ink color to define the graphic. The large type size really pops on this card. If you have a good monitor and click through the pics below, you can see that even on a 220lb cotton stock there can be small amount of impression show through on the reverse side.
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.
We have a lot of requests for blind (inkless) impression with letterpress plates. However, a tonal ink is often something we suggest rather than a truly blind impression. If the stock being printed does not lend itself to deep impression, the artwork needs some legibility or the art work is on both sides of the sheet, a blind hit can be ill advised. The amount of impression needed to clearly read a completely blind hit will create impression show through on the reverse side of the printed piece. One of the ways we get around this is to mix a tonal ink, shown here on both black and white business card samples. By printing a tone, we can lessen the impression and dial up the legibility a bit. The black stock is 200lb Wausau Eclipse Black. It is letterpress printed with a black and silver ink mix. The white stock is 220lb Crane Lettra Flo. White. It is letterpress printed with opaque white ink contaminated with 877 silver.
Fuel is a great creative shop in Iowa that sent us this unique business card design for Whatsup Juggling. It is letterpress printed on thick 220lb Crane Lettra cotton paper. The inks are orange, blue and a custom contaminated opaque white. The card was then die cut into 2.5 inch circles. We then tried to juggle them. Business cards are really hard to juggle.
Some production notes: The original intent was to have the white printing be a blind (inkless) impression. However, where those blind areas of text line up to one another from one side of the card to the other, there is a push back on the impression. When there is no ink to even out the visual appearance, legibility can suffer where the impression overlaps from side one to side two. Putting a white ink down contaminated with a bit of silver ink helps even out the look and gives the general appearance of a blind hit. Check out the pics for comparison. Still subtle, but with a hair more contrast than a true blind impression.
Adam Hudson Photo sent us these cards for letterpress printing. The unique narrow format really make them different in your hand. And the three color options of orange, green and gray on one side is a nice way to add some simple variety to an identity piece. We keep the plate set up on press and just add a couple wash ups to the printing process. A thick 220lb cotton stock takes a beefy impression. When a two sided card is pressed with a solid color, we almost always print the solid side first, then the text. This makes for a better sculptural impression on a text only side. Putting an overall impression on a solid area has the effect of ironing the paper flat and will diminish any impression of artwork on the reverse. Another ink effect we like on this card is the white ink on white paper. We are using a tinted white ink to create a nice subtle detail with just the right amount of contrast to keep it readable. Some times an inkless (blind) impression doesn’t have quite enough visibility to read clearly. We put a little bit of silver in the white ink to give it just the right amount of eye love.