Tag Archive for 'printers'

2011 Letterpress Printers Gift Guide

This is a post not for admirers of letterpress products, but for the folks actually doing letterpress printing. Crafting high quality work is all about the details. Sometimes the littlest things make a really big difference. The black arts ain’t always easy. In order to letterpress print professionally you need the right tools for the job. These are some of the things that we use daily in our shop. Individual items range in cost from $5 to $60. Granted, they are not items found in letterpress shops a hundred years ago, but that is a bonus you get for being a letterpress printer in the age of the glowing screen.


1. Schaedler Combo Ruler
This ruler is used across every step of production in our shop. It has really tiny increments. So small that you can measure the lines on your typical ruler. They have it all on this one ruler: points, picas, metric, standard and decimal inches.

2. Depth Ruler
This is the perfect tool to quickly square up your artwork to the press sheet. We don’t use them for increments. We use them as a tool to slide the gauge and compare side to side on a press sheet.

3. Digital Thickness Gauge
To adjust impression and do proper makeready you have to KNOW exactly what thickness you are putting in the press and adjust your packing accordingly. This is the tool to do just that. Find the overall thickness of materials in metric and decimal inches.

4. #99 Heidelberg GTO Suckers
These will change your life if you run Heidelberg letterpresses. They are specifically useful if you have ever struggled with warping, wavy cover stock or heavy board stock. The accordion body on these offer a little additional reach beyond the disc type suckers, without double sheeting. We use them on both Heidelberg Original Cylinders and Heidelberg Windmills.

5. Dogwood Coffee
Drinking on the job is almost a requirement in our shop. For consistently great coffee we love the micro-roasted batches from Dogwood Coffee. It’s a daily ritual from folks that embrace craft like we do. They have sweet little holiday brewing bundles available on their site.

6. Linen Tester Magnifier
See what is going on on your press sheet close up. You can then more quickly diagnose your print issues. Overinking, plate problem, impression, etc. We like the open body style of the folding linen tester magnifiers.

7. LED Magnetic Flex Light
Have a hard time seeing an enclosed part? Ever drop something inside a press. We have. This bright little light is perfectly small and has a magnetic base to keep your hands free.

8. Precision Oiler
We use a heavy weight press oil in this little guy to get a precision drop of oil right where it needs to go. Perfect for oiling the small parts around feeding and delivery, especially on Heidelberg Windmills.

9. Rosin Bag
Originally a product used to add gripping precision in many sports, this little bag works well to add some stick to the rails your roller trucks ride on. Gets rid of that pesky little ghosting start mark by slapping this sack on your rails a few time. This is an especially good tip for Heidelberg Windmills.


10. Super Soap
Sometimes is feels so good to be dirty. But to handle cotton paper you better get clean. This soap is easy on the hands and has a little sawdust grit for scrubbing action.

11. Teamster Shop Apron

This is one mother of an apron. This is an extra long apron that We love the split leg design that allows you to get up and down to worship your iron beast.

12. Pressroom Creed Poster

If you want your studio visitors to better understand your letterpress neurosis, hang this in your shop. (yes, this is a shameless promotion of our own product) It is a 13 x 20 sheet size, heavy 220lb cotton stock. “This is my printing press. There are many like it, but this one is mine…”




Open Studio For MAPC Attendees

Lots of printmakers are sauntering about Minneapolis / St Paul this week for the Mid America Print Council conference. We welcome these attendees to visit our studio during the conference on Friday this week from 5-8 PM. Studio On Fire is one of the largest and most vibrant commercial letterpress shops in the Midwest. We produce custom letterpress work from designers around the world. Join us during these hours to talk shop, see the presses and ask questions. Sorry, our production schedule will not permit other visiting hours.

Our Address:

Studio On Fire, 1621 East Hennepin Avenue Suite B10, Minneapolis MN 55414

phone 612 379 3000

Note: make sure you map us for EAST Hennepin Ave.  – We are on the edge of Northeast, at 16th Ave SE and E. Hennepin. It’s about a 10 minute ride from downtown Minneapolis.

An Advertising Sleeper Cell

In the spirit of the freemasons, there exists a creative group called Levy 7. Not much is known – they describe themselves as, “a collection of like-minded individuals who, through their awesomeness and grace, elevate the larger group in any and every social and professional endeavor, making us simply the most dynamic advertising sleeper cell/social club in the free world.”

The materials were designed by our friends in DesignWorks at BBDO in New York, a group that bleeds pure design talent. There are business cards, coasters and of course, cigar bands. We letterpress printed the materials in two metallic ink colors. The black paper is ultra thick custom duplexed Black Stonehenge. The white is paper is 179lb Crane Cover, 100% cotton. The cigar band stock was a black text weight from French Paper. After the labels were printed, we applied a remoist glue to the back edge and die cut them. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to form my own letterpress sleeper cell fraternity.