We're through creative a branding and digital agency from Macclesfield near Manchester. We've put together this site to create a source of inspiration, we hope you like it.

VŪHL Stationery

Posted: September 13th, 2013 | Author: Beast Pieces | Filed under: blok design, Business Cards, clear foil, Colorplan, foil, international, Letterpress, minneapolis, pristine white, royal blue, silver ink, vuhl | Comments Off

Blok Design, with offices in Toronto and Mexico city, have sent us several jobs over the years, but this stationery system for VUHL has got to be one of our favorites. Blok created the entire entity for what the VUHL website calls “a road-legal lightweight supercar.” You read that correctly, a SUPERCAR.

Blok always does a great job choosing materials and this was no exception. Two paper stocks were used, a rich Royal Blue and crisp Pristine White, both from the Colorplan line. The stocks started at a 270 gsm thickness and were duplexed after printing, making the final product a hefty 540 gsm. Silver ink was used for all of the letterpress printing and all the foiling was done using a transparent foil. The transparent foil created a subtle tonal shift and a slight change in sheen. The end result is both bold and elegant.


Cricket Design Works Herb & Spice Prints

Posted: July 17th, 2013 | Author: Beast Pieces | Filed under: 110c, crane, crane lettra, cricket design works, custom letterpress, hand illustration, herb, Illustration, Letterpress, letterpress printing, minneapolis, pearl white, Poster, posters, spice | Comments Off

Cricket Design Works is a full-service visual communications consultancy based out of Madison, Wisconsin. We printed their multi-colored business cards a few years back and completed this tasty poster duo for them just this past winter.

Appealing to both our eyes and taste buds, these illustrative posters were letterpress printed on Crane Lettra Pearl White cotton stock  wtih three inks, a green, an orange, and a brown common to both versions. Nestled amongst a massive amount of foodie knowledge, the illustrations keep solid areas of color to a minimum, really showing off the letterpress impression with some hand drawn line work.

cricket_H&S_3 cricket_H&S_2 cricket_H&S_1 cricket_H&S7 cricket_H&S6 cricket_H&S5 cricket_H&S4 cricket_H&S3 cricket_H&S2 cricket_H&S


Summertime Poster

Posted: April 5th, 2013 | Author: Beast Pieces | Filed under: 100% PCW, 130, custom letterpress, Design, Letterpress, minneapolis, mohawk, mohawk options, Poster, posters, Studio On Fire Products, summertime, three inks | Comments Off

Sure, it’s technically only spring and there may still be snow on the ground (okay, there is for sure still snow on the ground), but our thoughts have turned dreamily to the hazy days of summer. Inspired by our favorite parts of the season, this poster is hand illustrated and letterpress printed with three inks.

Printed on Mohawk Options 130# cover (a 100% post consumer waste sheet), the poster measures out to final size of 13″ x 20.” It’s available for purchase in our online store, so go ahead and “get some fun!”

SOF_summertime SOF_summer6 SOF_summer5 SOF_summer4 SOF_summer3 SOF_summer2 SOF_summer

Letterpress Open House

Posted: March 5th, 2013 | Author: Beast Pieces | Filed under: basement block party, Completely Unrelated, hennepin made, hot dogs, Letterpress, minneapolis, News, open house, studio on fire, Studio On Fire Products, westwerk | Comments Off

It’s time again for us to throw open our doors, hand you a beer and show you all that our letterpress studio has to offer. March 22nd we’re teaming up with our basement neighbors, Westwerk Design and Hennepin Made to host a basement block party. Glass blowing demos will be happening at Hennepin Made, Westwerk is flush with games (foosball anyone? darts? bubble hockey?) and of course we’ll have a poster on press as per tradition.

It’s a family friendly-ish event (we’ll have a kids activity) that starts at 4 and runs until we give up. So grab a coworker, a friend, and/or your mom and come on down. Oh, there’s a Facebook invite you can RSVP to, if you’re into that sort of thing.

URGENT: Help Keep College of Visual Arts Open

Posted: February 19th, 2013 | Author: Beast Pieces | Filed under: Art College, BFA, College, Creative Community, CVA, CVA Action, Design, Fine Arts, Fundraising, Letterpress, minneapolis, minnesota, News, Saint Paul, st paul, twin cities | Comments Off

This is a call for your help. As a reader of Beast Pieces you may have wondered where a crazy letterpress shop like Studio On Fire began. Here is a little background story from company principal, Ben Levitz:

I went to College of Visual Arts (CVA) as a kid right out of high school. I choose it because of the small campus size and the fine arts focused BFA degree. I wasn’t sure what on earth I wanted to do with an “art” degree, but I knew I loved making things. And I liked that CVA wasn’t the slickest or fanciest campus. It seemed like a place for focused art exploration with an amazing faculty. I enrolled with my mother still skeptical. ( I think she was just nervous about sending her son off to do nude figure drawing. ) I embarked on a four year arts journey that taught me fancy words like chiaroscuro and gestalt. I learned about everyone from Hieronymus Bosch to Paul Rand. I even did my nerdy typography-based senior thesis on a fellow named William Dwiggins who designed typefaces for letterpress printing. I graduated with a BFA in Communication Design and a passion for visual culture.

I struggled during my schooling choosing between a design major and a sculpture major. I ultimately chose a design major because I wanted to eat. But after graduating CVA in 1998, I quickly found in my first design job a very different experience than the one I had as a CVA student. Most of my work day was locked into the glowing screens of design, not making stuff with my hands. And most of the stuff I did make, ended up in trash cans of clients. I sought change. I wanted to make stuff that people would love and keep. I wanted some outlet for craft that related back to my college experience. So, in the fall of 1999, my and evenings and weekend were spent beginning a letterpress printing space in my home basement. I called it Studio On Fire, named for the Typographer Frederick Goudy who twice lost his lifes work to studio blazes. Fast forward 14 years – the company Studio On Fire is  a best-in-class letterpress shop with a dozen employees and clients all over the world. Gestalten even published a recent book of projects that were printed in our studio.

Learning at CVA was one of those amazing life experiences that was so formative to my valuation and passion for craft and design. As Studio On Fire grows as a business, this is what we value. Craft. Design. It was that simple framework of learning that provided a chance for me to focus my passions and ultimately build a unique business that reflects the things I love.

The sudden announcement in January of CVA’s  closure was a bombshell. In addition to running Studio On Fire, I’m now busy as President of a group called CVA Action making the case to our creative community that CVA deserves a chance to stay open. Yes, it is going to take some big changes. It is going to require vision beyond what the current Administration and Board of Trustees could offer. This change is big and we have an amazing team of people stepping in to surround this effort. I believe those changes can be made and I am stepping up to play my part. This is vital to the Saint Paul community, vital to Minnesota, and vital to creativity. But we need your help.

I’m going to the mat and asking you to consider a gift of money to this vital part of our creative community. If you love what we do at Studio On Fire, you already recognize the value a creative education brings to business. I am hoping you care enough about this cause to contribute.

For more details about our fundraising campaign, visit our website CVA Action. Time is of the essence. This is our last, best hope to save our beloved school and make the needed changes so we can put CVA back on the path to a successful and sustainable future. Please make a donation in any amount today.

You can make this happen, and we are so grateful for your support.

Thank You.

Ben Levitz, Principal, Studio On Fire
_0006_Studio_on_fire_letterpress_wall_in_lobby _0005_Studio_on_fire_letterpress_pressroom Studio_On_Fire_newpressroom_2011 Studio_On_Fire_basement_shop_1999 College_of_Visual_Arts_CVA

Fame Speakeasy Invitations

Posted: November 29th, 2012 | Author: Beast Pieces | Filed under: 100c, 110c, blind, classic crest, custom invitations, eclipse black, Fame Retail, Invitations, Invitations (non wedding), Letterpress, letterpress invitations, minneapolis, neenah, open house, royal complements, silver ink, solar white, speakeasy, tonal varnish, wausau | Comments Off

The fine folks over at Fame Retail hold an annual open house for industry friends and clients, building the theme around the booze and munchies they plan on serving each year (you may remember these bingo cards and these fair themed beauties). This year, with a nod to 1920′s prohibition, their team created a speakeasy theme across a set of cards that included mustachioed gents, pin-curled ladies, icons of delicate linework, and plenty of liquor lingo.

The card set was comprised of two stocks, Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 110C and Wausau Royal Compelments Eclipse Black 100c. The white cards were letterpress printed with a blind (inkless) impression before we ran them through the press for a pass of  black ink. Silver ink and a tonal letterpress varnish were used on the black cards.

To top it all off, these invites just won PaperSpecs Gallery’s Take Note Award. Be sure to check out the nice video posted on the PaperSpecs blog.

Fame_Invite2012_invitation Fame_Invite2012_envelope Fame_Invite2012_detail_2 Fame_Invite2012_detail Fame_Invite2012_cards_detail Fame_Invite2012_cards4_detail Fame_Invite2012_cards4 Fame_Invite2012_cards3_detail Fame_Invite2012_cards2_detail Fame_Invite2012_cards2 Fame_Invite2012_cards1

A Collection of Radii

Posted: June 25th, 2012 | Author: Beast Pieces | Filed under: 110c, ARTCRANK, blind, crane lettra, custom printing, Design, flo white, house stock, inkless, Letterpress, minneapolis, one ink, Poster, Studio On Fire Products | Comments Off

Designed for the ARTCRANK MSP 2012 show, our newest poster is an ode to all the radial objects in our life. With a bicycle wheel at the hub of the design, a hindu goddess, a space station and even a nipple made it on to the final print (not to be confused with the aureole that also appears, but we digress).

These were printed on one of our six Heidelberg cylinder presses (insert bragging here) on Crane Lettra Flo White 110c stock with one ink. Every print also got a blind hit of our studio seal, which required a second inkless run through the press.

Yes, you can buy one in our store.

top_radii sunflower poster eyebally bottom_radii


Vintage Vehicle Logotypes

Posted: June 24th, 2012 | Author: Beast Pieces | Filed under: auto, automobile, brands, brush, cars, Classic, Completely Unrelated, crest, fonts, handlettering, logos, minneapolis, minnesota, MSRA, script, st paul, streetrod, truck, type, Typography | Comments Off

We believe a logo is at its best with a little dimension. Combine typography and machines and you have yourself a real shindig. The custom lettering adorning the sides vintage vehicles is a design category all to itself.  At this weekends “Back to the 50′s” car show at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds, we collected this gallery of logotypes. For those with a serious script fetish, this might not be safe for work.

_0088_belair_logo_sof _0087_wildcat_logo_sof _0086_bonneville_2_logo_sof _0085_new_yorker_logo_sof _0084_dodge_brothers_wings_logo_sof _0083_chrysler_logo_sof _0082_dodge_ram_logo_sof _0081_dodge_brothers_logo_sof _0080_ford_gear_bolt_logo_sof _0079_BMW_isetta_logo_sof _0078_Special_logo_sof _0077_plymouth_2_logo_sof _0076_nomad_logo_sof _0075_MG_logo_sof _0074_dodge_logo_sof _0073_coronet_logo_sof _0072_bugatti_logo_sof _0071_champ _0070_victoria_logo_sof _0069_ford_logo_sof _0068_galaxie_logo_sof _0067_impala_logo_sof _0066_riviera_logo_sof _0065_cadillac_v8_logo_sof _0064_buick_wheel_logo_sof _0063_roadmaster_logo_sof _0062_customline_logo_sof _0061_falcon_logo_sof _0060_nova_logo_sof _0059_fury_logo_sof _0058_jeepster_logo_sof _0057_fuel_injection_logo_sof _0056_fairlane_500_2_logo_sof _0055_sports_coupe_logo_sof _0054_corvette_sting_ray_logo_sof _0053_futura_logo_sof _0052_tr4_triumph_logo_sof _0051_galaxie500_logo_sof _0050_plymouth_logo_sof _0049_bonneville_logo_sof _0048_skylark_logo_sof _0047_edelbrock_logo_sof _0046_oldsmobile_2_logo_sof _0045_Tehama_county_logo_sof _0044_baxter_lumber_logo_sof _0043_custom_logo_sof _0042_pontiac_2_logo_sof _0041_century_logo_sof _0040_thunderbird_2_logo_sof _0039_Sunliner_logo_sof _0038_starchief_logo_sof _0037_monterey_logo_sof _0036_fairlane500_logo_sof _0035_pontiac_logo_sof _0034_edsel_villager_logo_sof _0033_buick_logo_sof _0032_oldsmobile_logo_sof _0031_cadillac_logo_sof _0030_belvedere_logo_sof _0029_catalina_logo_sof _0028_chevrolet_2_logo_sof _0027_customline_logo_sof _0026_overdrive_logo_sof _0025_Volvo_sport_logo_sof _0024_LeSabre_logo_sof _0023_ranchero_logo_sof _0022_plymouth_logo_sof _0021_savoy_logo_sof _0020_desoto_logo_sof _0019_chevrolet_logo_sof _0018_corvair_95_logo_sof _0017_gmc__logo_sof _0016_ford_crest_logo_sof _0015_biscayne__logo_sof _0014_dynaflow_sexy_leg_logo_sof _0013_special_logo_sof _0012_ford_v8_2_logo_sof _0011_dodge_crest_logo_sof _0010_fleetwood_logo_sof _0009_malibu_logo_sof _0008_impala_ss_logo_sof _0007_ford_v8_logo_sof _0006_ford_deluxe__logo_sof _0005_american_logo_sof _0004_coupe_deville_logo_sof _0003_belair_logo_sof _0002_thunderbird_logo_sof _0001_Fuel_injection__logo_sof _0000_holiday_logo_sof

Studio MPLS

Posted: May 8th, 2012 | Author: rod | Filed under: Agency, design studio, minneapolis, Multi-Discipline, Office, Studio MPLS, USA | Comments Off

studio mpls Studio MPLS

Studio MPLS is a post from: Art and design inspiration from around the world - CreativeRoots

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Linotype: The Film

Posted: April 6th, 2012 | Author: Beast Pieces | Filed under: AIGA, aiga mn, Completely Unrelated, custom printing, Film, Letterpress, linotype, linotype: the film, metal type, minneapolis, News | Comments Off

We are proud to be teaming up with AIGA Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas to bring a screening of Linotype: The Film to the Twin Cities. April 13th, 7pm, St. Thomas campus. Be there. Details available over on the AIGA MN website.

“Linotype: The Film” Official Trailer from Linotype: The Film on Vimeo.