Tag Archive for 'production'

1st 100,000 – Thanks Beast Pieces Readers

The benefit of slow times is they make us try new things. At the end of January it was a slow time in our studio, and we certainly don’t like to sit with idle hands. We had this blog started in 2008 but due to low content we were only seeing a trickle of 50 or so daily visitors. With a camera in hand, I started writing nearly every day here on beastpieces.com showing our press work in detail and talking about our production process. We never imagined the response. Six weeks later it has become part of our daily routine and a great extension of our studio to the design community. This week marks some sort of milestone for us – over 100,000 visits in the past six weeks.  We’ve heard from so many designers and made many new friends.

We live and breathe great design and production. We’d like to thank some of the fine blogging folks and design sites that have taken notice of beastpieces.com recently. We enjoy these sites and invite you to take a visit:

Bad Ass Ideas – Blog of design, culture and typography

Black Eiffel – Blog of people, places, things, and ideas

Booooooom – Fostering a community of people excited to go out and be creative

Briar Press – A letterpress community

Card Observer – Business card design inspiration

CMYKern – Blog of simple clean design with good thought process

Designers Talk – Design community discussion board

Design Sponge – Daily website dedicated to home and product design

Draplin Design – Blog of damn good designers, makers of Field Notes

The Fleuron – The Britsh Journal of Typography and Design

FFFFound – Image bookmarking (will someone please invite me already!)

Grain Edit – Modern graphic design plus vintage graphics

Graphic Exchange – Amazing selection of graphic design projects

How Design Magazine – Top 10 websites for designers

I Love Typography – Bringing the subject of Typography to the masses

Image Spark – A new site for image collection and inspiration

Oh So Beautiful Paper – A celebration of all things paper

Qbn.com – A great design community discussion board

Quipsologies – Daily creative morsels for design awareness

Snippet And Ink – Daily wedding inspiration

Style Me Pretty – Blog for the style obsessed bride

Subtraction.com –  Blog by Khoi Vinh – Design Director for the NYtimes.com

The Best Part – Daily commentary on all things design

Type Theory – A journal of contemporary typography


So, thank you for visiting us. As we continue to post on beastpieces.com we’d love to hear from you. Is there something you’d like us to post about? Anything missing? What should we talk about more? Feel free to leave comments.

And of course we’d like to hear about your upcoming letterpress project and always appreciate estimate requests and the chance to work with new people. Reach us at numbers(at)studioonfire(dot)com with details about your project. Maybe it is perfect for the next post on beastpieces.com

Art Of The Business Card – Black Paper

When we work with designers on projects we have conversations about “production strategy.” Sometimes letterpress is a good fit for the design intent, sometimes not. And often times we combine other production methods to achieve the effect being sought after. Black business cards present a range of production challenges. Flooding a white paper with black ink doesn’t produce fine detail in small type sizes. Here are two projects featuring different ways to print on black paper by combining letterpress with other processes.

Jamie Wickard Card – Designed by our friends at Westwerk Design

This card was produced on black paper stock: Tonal Black letterpress ink and a gloss black FOIL (side 1) and Silver Letterpress (side 2)

Antitdote X Card – Designed by our friends at Antidote X

This card was produced on cream paper stock custom duplexed to black paper stock. (Black letterpress on the cream side and white ENGRAVING on the black side) Then it was finished with custom die cutting.

To achieve fine white type on a black background Engraving is the most premium (and most costly) printing method.  By duplexing a black stock rather than printing black ink and reversing out the white we’ve achieved something letterpress and offset printing would not have done well – notice the fine 3 point serif type! White foil and screen printing can print on black, but not with detail like that. Letterpress printing does not do well printing opaque white on dark colored paper and achieving bright opacity either. Like offset printing, opaque white can be laid down with several passes and achieve a mottled looking white – not a bright white. As a rule for general production: only metallic inks have good opacity on dark stocks.

Of course this all combining of production methods comes at a cost. Which comes to a final point – KNOW YOUR CLIENT BUDGET. Our best production advice is to know what your client wants to spend before finalizing your design. If you have an extravagant design with multiple production steps and your client has only a $300 dollar budget, you’ve just wasted design time on something they can not afford to produce. But if you plan production along side design, you can present your client an option that doesn’t need rounds of compromise. That is what “production strategy” is all about.