These cheeky promotional cards, designed by the folks over at Measure, are a great example of how fluorescent and metallic inks appear when printed on white paper. Day-glo pink and metallic silver ink were letterpress printed on Crane Lettra Flo White 110c that we duplexed after printing for a finished thickness of 220c. One card then received two perforation lines, allowing it to break down into smaller cards.
Using the format we designed for our Studio On Fire calendars, the marketing team over at Pivot Interiors designed this 2012 calendar in celebration of their expansion into southern California. Created as a tribute to California architecture, this was used as a gift for their clients and was a great way for them to showcase their ties to the architectural and design communities. The beautifully detailed illustrations required us to keep a critical eye on the registration while on press and we’re thrilled with how tight the prints came out.
The interior pages and outer wrap were printed together on one press sheet using four inks on Mohawk Via Vellum Bright White 100C. The stand was printed with one ink on a custom duplexed paper made of Mohawk Via Vellum Bright Wht 100C and Mohawk Loop Vellum Thai Gold 100C before being diecut and hand assembled.
Earlier this year we were asked to participate in Target’s Design United campaign. Target made use of the massive street level windows of their corporate location to showcase their bullseye logo as interpreted by 51 local artists. We were thrilled to be included and submitted a dozen prints for them to choose from. The display was up from April to October in downtown Minneapolis.
Our process started with a hand drawn mehndi inspired pattern that we scanned in and cleaned up to create a photopolymer plate. We also created a plate of the solid Target logo which we used to lay down some background colors, allowing us to utilize the transparent nature of the inks and achieve some great overprinting. Our pressman went to town and applied most of the inks by hand directly to the plates or paper, resulting in dozens of completely unique pieces. Some of our favorites are below, along with some shots of the installation that we took while it was up this summer.
We stay active in the AIGA Minneapolis design community and are excited about the many projects printed in our shop that were in this years Design Show. With just over 90 pieces in the show – 11 of those had letterpress production in our shop. We are proud to be a trusted letterpress production partner for so many designers. Also notable – we took the AIGA MN Peoples Choice award for our own design of the Golden Rule poster. You can still buy one here.
But what does this mean for letterpress as a printing method? Why do designers and judges choose it? Why do the people love it? Here are a few thoughts…
Letterpress is a counter point to slick
The more prevalent digital printing and smart phones become, the stronger the counterpoint of a tactile production method like letterpress. The materials, the sculptural impression, the raw yet refined nature of it make a difference in your hand. We love our iphone as much as the next designer, but there is something in letterpress printing that digital media and digital printing can not touch.
Online Media Is Squeezing The Middle
A lot of the middle range print marketing is being cut out in favor of online business tools. The print industry overall has seen a pretty big smack down over the last few years. The remaining print budget for companies is going toward pieces that will work hard and stay memorable. Projects like business cards, invitations, and other highly visible print pieces get the budget with online media doing the heavy lifting.
Letterpress Simplifies Design
Letterpress makes designers simplify a layout. Pieces usually have just a couple colors, since each color is a separate pass through the press and costs add up quickly. Things like gradients and drop shadows get kicked to the curb because they don’t plate well for letterpress. Artwork on letterpress gravitates toward type.
We’ll be doing some more in depth posting on some of these soon, but here is a summary of what we produced in this years show:
Colle+McVoy Schwinn Calendar Poster,Studio On Fire design
FAME Annual party invitation and coasters FAME Fair Open House Invite
Studio On Fire our print for a poster show, buy one here Golden Rule Poster
ZYDECO design business cards and brochure for ZYDECO design Image System