This poster is a father and son collaboration. All elements are hand drawn by Koen (age 6) with a Sharpie marker at the dining room table, then arranged digitally. The type is the “Golden Rule” as penned in the honest hand of a child. Maybe what we learned in kindergarten is most important. It is 14 x 20 in size, letterpress printed in yellow and gold inks on Legion White Eco Rag, 600gsm. Available for sale on our site.
Tag Archive for 'paper'
Since pretty much everyone needs a paper saw blade, we figured it was time to deliver. These heavy duty paper blades pop out of our latest promo card to fly through the air as a dangerous incarnation of business cards. You can toss them at pets, logs and trees, use them as coasters or keep them on hand to contact us for your next custom letterpress printing project. (these are an upgrade from our previous ninja version)
These cards designed by Villainy and Associates really make you stop and turn the thing over in your hand. The understated typographic design gives the letterpress production value emphasis. It’s simple and pseudo executive – flashy without being too flashy.
We printed letterpress metallic gold for the information and letterpress varnish on the logotype. We like using a varnish on dark stocks for a tone on tone effect. That gives a slightly better legibility than a totally blind, inkless impression. The stock is a thick 200lb Wausau Eclipse Black with metallic gold edge coloring.
This post is a recap of the fun we had this last weekend leading a press free, hand style letterpress workshop at AIGA Minnesota Design Camp. We were located in the wine cellar at Grandview Lodge in Nisswa, Minnesota. Over 300 designers attend this event annually. We did three sessions of this 1.5 hour long workshop with over 120 total attendees. The process was about putting down lots of ink quickly, creating textures, layers and happenstance in the layout and printing. No press required, no two prints alike. Studio On Fire brought in lots of good stuff: 10 large cases of our woodtype collection (about 400lbs of type, mostly Hamilton faces) Tape and cardboard (served as the bed of the press, tape held type in rough position) A wadded up paper towel was the “printing press” (used with hands to burnish the back of the sheets) Several dozen CSA images supplied on photopolymer plates (permission of CSA archives) Wood grain background textures (blasted with a powerwasher, then relief carved) Lots of good ol’ French Paper to print on (poptone sweet tooth and many many remnants) Ink and brayers (oil based inks and soft rubber rollers) It was a fluid process and a good chance for everyone to step away from the computer. A huge thanks AIGA Minnesota for having us and to the AIGA volunteers that supplied a steady stream of nature wash solvent to clean up and redistribute the wood type and images. And thanks to Phong Tran for his photo contributions. If you would like Studio On Fire to do a workshop with your group, let’s talk. Please do contact us for more information.
We think getting letterpress printing is even better than a gold watch. It is a great production option for special corporate occasions too, not just weddings. This invitation to celebrate Dunhams 50 years in business was designed by Riley Hayes Advertising. The type driven design is accented with a matching bright red matching edge color.
These pieces were inked with 3 color on one side with a tonal varnish on the other. We printed an invitation and map card together on a new favorite sheet – French Poptone Sweet Tooth White 280lb Cover. We like it enough that we are now custom making it to keep on hand as a house sheet. The thickness is about 40 points (.038 inch) which is a matching thickness to Crane Lettra 220lb. The good things are that it is less expensive than a cotton sheet like Lettra and smoother in surface, not as toothy a finish. It takes a great impression and works great for edge coloring as well.
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.
We letterpress printed these 4 x 6 sized cards on French Muscletone Construction Pure White. One of the things we really like about this sheet is that it is a single ply 140lb Cover rather than a pasted, multi ply sheet. Most other commercial papers from other mills achieve a thicker paper by pasting a 2 ply sheet for thicknesses of 130lb and up. That makes the sheets stiff. Since the French sheet is a single ply, it is a bit softer and less rigid – both qualities desirable for letterpress. However, since French is achieving that thickness with a single ply, there is more evident pulp formation within the sheet. This means that the pressure needed to print a solid area of color is significant and results in a “salty” more textured printed appearance. That texture in large inked areas is something we like and embrace in printing with letterpress. HOWEVER, read this disclaimer before you send us art with lots of ink going down.
And letterpress printing isn’t just for small runs. Twenty thousand cards just rolled off the press. But, it is important to understand that for letterpress, each color is a separate pass through the press. This job was able to print both of these cards two-up on a press sheet. Still, these sheets had four separate passes for 3 color /one color. That’s a lil bit of printing.
Sometimes it’s possible to get an oversize sheet on an undersized platen letterpress. What is important to keep in mind is the distance between the arms on either side of the platen. As long as the sheet is smaller than that dimension, it could fit.
This is a long 4 x 18 inch card that needs to fold in half to 4 x 9 inch and fit into a standard #10 envelope. We are set up in this photo to run a 3 point matrix score, but this works for printing as well. To fit this sheet size onto our 10 x 15 size C&P platen press required a special McGill gauge pin for the side guide that fits between the tympan bail and the side of the platen. It extends beyond the platen and adds the couple inches needed to get the sheet to land inside the working area. It is a good solution to handle smaller hand fed jobs.
These guides came with equipment we purchased several years ago and we can not find more. Although, it could be rigged up from hardware store material pretty easily. If anyone has a source for these guides, please share! Someday we’ll just get a bigger hand fed press, but then there will be an even bigger sheet.
What if you received a mailing from a company and it was actually something beautiful? With this card, you could even try planting it. This oversize postcard for Northern Lights Landscaping was designed by WestmorelandFlint and is letterpress printed on a plantable paper containing wildflower seeds. We would say they have easily surpassed the typical beauty threshold of your garden variety direct mail piece.
We letterpress printed this 10 x 5.75 card in two colors. The stock came from our new friends here in the midwest at Porridge Paper. It is their Plantable Seed Paper, Ecotan 110lb Cover, wild flower mix. This paper does produce a beautiful sculptural letterpress impression. A cautionary note on those wildflower seed inclusions – it also makes a really big mess inside the printing press. After running several thousand sheets through the cylinder press four times, we had enough wildflower seeds inside the machine to plant a small meadow. A fun mailer AND good times cleaning up afterwards.