I bet you thought we forgot, but have no fear, our annual calendar collaboration is here! We’re just wrapping up our busiest year to date (and recovering from a bout of plague that swept through the shop), so it’s debuting a little later than planned, but holy hell, did our guest illustrators really nail it. As it goes every year, we here at SOF choose a theme, color palette, and paper stocks before asking 5 illustrators to create custom artwork for two months each. The theme for this year is Folklore: Legends, Heroes, and Myth, so we ended up with some killer characters. Roman gods, fairy tales, literary heroes, and woodland creatures are just the tip of the iceberg. Huge shout-out to our illustrators: Valerie Jar, Brian Gunderson, Drew Millward, Tyler Gross, and Mattson Creative. As for the technical specs: these bad boys were letterpress printed with four inks on our largest Heidelberg cylinder press. We printed all twelve months and the outer wrap on one press sheet, French Poptone Whip Cream 140#, and then trimmed everything down to final size (the wraps also received an additional run through the press to get scored). The easel stand was letterpress printed with a tonal ink color (to give it that rad woodgrain effect) on a custom duplexed stock consisting of French Speckletone Kraft 100# and French Speckletone Chocolate 100#. After printing the stand was diecut and hand assembled. These are for sale now in our online store! As an added bonus, use the code SOF2015 to get $10 off! (Code valid thru the end of Jan 2015.)
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The 2014 Studio On Fire letterpress printed desktop calendar, a project that has been happening annually for over a decade, has recently been completed and now ready for purchase over in our shop.
Each year we here at Studio On Fire select ink colors, paper stocks, and a come up with a theme before asking a slew of illustrators to join us in creating custom artwork for each month. This year we tackled January and October, the remaining months feature illustrations from the ever talented: Beeteeth, Lab Partners, Brian Gunderson, Jolby, and Kate Bingaman-Burt.
The theme for 2014 was “Happy Place,” playing on the concept that your happy place might be an actual place or maybe just something small in your life that brings you joy. From kittens to castles and coffee to burgers, this year is chock-full of delightful illustrations to keep you in a good mood all year (small disclaimer: you might get very hungry some months).
As for the nitty-gritty print specifications, there are two major components of this calendar: the easel stand and the calendar pages themselves. The production of the easel stand started with us creating a custom duplexed stock comprised of French PopTone Sno Cone 100# cover and French Construction Grout Grey 100# cover. After duplexing the stands were letterpress printed with a tonal ink before being diecut and hand assembled. Our favorite feature of the stand is on the back where the diecut allows you to get a peek at the Sno Cone blue paper.
The calendar pages were all printed at the same time on one press sheet, French Speckletone Starch White 140# cover, alongside the outer wrap that uses bits and pieces of imagery from the calendar months. Though the color palette is slightly more traditional than we’ve used in the past, (a pale blue, orangey red, mustardy yellow and a metallic champagne in place of black), we think the colors kept the everything feeling bright and cheery (and allowed for beautiful overprinting).
Available for purchase right now in our store, and for a limited time the promo code SOF2014 will get you one for only $20 bucks!
Still working on your holiday shopping? No worries, we’re here for you. Just this morning we added yet another new item to our shop, the Buzzed & Fuzzed Print Set. Give them as a pair or break them apart to give to your boozy best friend and highly caffeinated little sister.
Printed with three inks (brown, yellow and a tonal warm gray) on Wausau Royal Compliments Natural White 100c, each print measures 12.625″ x 9.625.”
Just want one? Too bad, they only come as a set. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter for an exclusive discount promo code.
You are invited to a party! We are loving our machines with plenty of oil and our guests with plenty of other social lubrications. Join us as we celebrate our new office and press room with an open house on Friday, February 11th begining at 4pm. Come and see some letterpress action and talk shop. We’ll have a limited edition project on press as free gift to party guests. Hope to see you here soon.
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.
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.
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.
Studio On Fire is preparing for a massive move. We are moving to a much larger space in the basement of the same building in Northeast Minneapolis. We are adding several new beasts to our new space, just 20 feet down from our current second floor studio. Our 12 x 18 Gietz platen will finally be installed along with a Heidelberg 21 x 28 cylinder press with inking and a larger Polar paper cutter. These machines will enhance our current production space adding new large format letterpress capability.
Production work will continue during the move, but our office life will be turned on it’s ear. Our access to email and our ability to respond to estimate requests during the week of July 6-12th will be limited. We will begin responding to custom printing requests July 13th. If you need an estimate turned more quickly than this please let us know the timing need in your request. If you can get in touch with us this week – even better.
These two posters came to us from agency friends at Bailey Lauerman, illustrated by the ever fabulous Rilla Alexander of Rinzen. This TUNE project was sponsored via federal grant by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Bailey Lauerman launched TUNE which uses music to inspire young women to make better choices and live healthier lives. There are 8 selected artists out of 150 entries, and their music was written and recorded specific for this project. Songs are free to download from the TUNE website.
We printed the posters with a split ink fountain using florescent pink and blue inks which blended to a nice purple in the middle. We kept the lateral ink distribution setting at maximum spread for a good blend in the poster. It was printed on French Paper Poptone Whip Cream 140lbC.
This is an iphone video of the job on press. Lo res, but you’ll get the idea of how the fountain looks.
The Studio On Fire 2010 Calendar is now available on our new web site. This calendar is a decade marker for us. Established the end of 1999, Studio On Fire began letterpress printing in a cold Minnesota basement. Our first press occupied a spot between the boiler and the litter box, and oh, how the studio has since grown. Now seven presses strong with a fully equipped studio space, we celebrate ten years as a bustling design and print studio. This Tenfold Edition calendar is letterpress printed with four colors on a cotton-blend stock, each month beautifully illustrated by selected designers the world over. Contributors: Jan/Jul_ Studio On Fire Feb/Aug_Cecilie Ellefsen Mar/Sept_ Brian Gunderson Apr/Oct_ The Little Friends of Printmaking May/Nov_ ghostpatrol Jun/Dec_ Rilla Alexander (Rinzen)
This is our letterpress poster for the Toys In The Attic show opening at the Soo Visual Arts Center on Dec 4th from 6 to 9PM. The show features both custom toys and toy inspired posters. Proceeds benefit Toys For Tots. Hey, that’s tomorrow night! We hope to see you there.
These beasts are in fact our toys. The graphic beasts are constructed from various press parts and form into a crest that commemorates ten years of printing here at Studio On Fire. The dog latin phrase reads “Iron Beasts Make Great Beauty”. It is printed in fluorescent and dark silver inks on Crane Lettra Flo White 220lbC at 13 x 13 size.
It was ten years ago this month back in 1999 that the first C&P was lowered into the then basement studio. More to come on our own ten year anniversary party soon.