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Large Scale Letterpress
Posted on February 10th, 2011 // Letterpress, News, Posters & Prints, Printing //

I love design, I love print, and I love tattoos (it’s printing on skin!). So when the local chapter of the AIGA called and asked us if we’d be willing to donate printing to help promote an event called “Full Bleed, The Design and Tattoo Experience” the answer was a definite yes.

We’ll take any opportunity to support AIGA SLC because no matter what they’re up to it’s guaranteed to be great, but this one was really fantastic. The plan was to host a party to showcase the artwork and design of local tattoo artists. The talented Dan Christofferson (beeteeth.com) was to provide the design and illustration, and we would print a poster and postcard for the event. The 16.5″x23″ poster and 6″x9″ postcard both featured an illustration that was a clever combination of traditional tattoo iconography peppered with printing and design jargon. The outcome was amazing and pushed the limits of modern letterpress with very heavy ink coverage and super tight registration.

Things got even better when the decision was made to hold the event at our new 8,000 square foot building, which we had not yet moved into. The folks of the AIGA did an amazing job with the place and Epic Brewery provided beverages for all. Rumor has it there were even a few tattoos received to commemorate the event.

The poster was printed on our behemoth 21″x28″ Heidelberg S Model Cylinder press. The thing is a true wonder and beautiful to watch. Its cylinder alone weighs as much as one whole Vandercook Number 4 proof press.

The postcard was printed on our Frontex Automatic, a tiny wonder of German ingenuity that has become a real asset to our shop. With a maximum sheet size of only 10″x15″ it’s essentially a miniature version of the Heidelberg cylinders but it packs quite a punch.

It was all printed on 100# Mohawk Superfine which was graciously supplied by Zellerbach.

    12 Comments

  1. Tweets that mention Letterpress + Tattoos = Large Poster | The Mandate Press -- Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Mandate Press, George Graves. George Graves said: very nice! RT @themandatepress: Design, letterpress and tattoos. Three great tastes that taste great together. http://bit.ly/dGSPaL [...]


  2. Letterpress Tattoo Posters | Paper Crave

    [...] out these absolutely amazing letterpress posters and postcards, printed by The Mandate Press with illustration by Dan Christofferson. The posters were created for an event for the Salt Lake [...]


  3. Inked and pressed | Nicework Ramble

    [...] Letterpress tattoo posters illustrated by Dan Cristofferson and printed by The Mandate Press. The posters were created for an event called “Full Bleed, The Design and Tattoo Experience”, which showcases the artwork and design of local Salt Lake tattoo artists. Read more about them here. [...]


  4. design work life » Letterpress Tattoo Posters

    [...] Lake City event, The Mandate Press teamed up with Dan Christofferson to cre­ate a com­pan­ion poster and post­card set. The event (which I wish I could have attended myself) was enti­tled “Full Bleed, The Design and [...]


  5. Evernotes Every Friday « Creating For Our Creator

    [...] but love every print I see! The following poster was designed by Dan Christofferson and printed by The Mandate Press. The AIGA’s event, “Full Bleed, The Design and Tattoo Experience,” fea­tured the art [...]


  6. Bisforballeza » I’d like one of these…

    [...] a place called Mandate Press. It was a letterpress shop that does some pretty awesome work. I love this poster that they did for an AIGA event on tattoo [...]


  7. Rachel

    LOVE!


  8. Amber W.

    Wow, really amazing and inspiring. Great work. Now I wanna go to that event.


  9. AmyMae

    these are all wonderful! just stunning


  10. Lilian

    This is so awesome!


  11. Grammar Freak

    It’s cylinder alone weighs as much as one whole Vandercook Number 4 proof press.

    Um, it should read, “Its cylinder alone…”


  12. mandate

    Thank you grammarfreak. By the way, how’s the weather over their?



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Surprise Announcement + Decoder Specs
Posted on December 20th, 2010 // Featured, Letterpress, Printing //

YOU: “We have some good news.”
MOM: “You’re pregnant?!”

YOU: “Hey, I have something to tell you.”
SISTER: “You’re pregnant?!”

YOU: “Hey Mom, where’s the spatula?”
MOM: “YOU’RE PREGNANT?!”

YOU: “Dad, can I talk to you about something?”
DAD: “Sure, what’s up?”

How does a young couple surprise family and friends with news of a pregnancy if it’s already on (some of) their minds?
That was the problem we were asked to help solve and here’s what we came up with.

We figured that the root of the problem lies in the approach. The mere suggestion of information to be shared trips any woman’s baby radar faster than you can say “binky”.
So we thought it best to eliminate the approach all together. Sneak up on them. Ambush them with the great news.

To do this we created a letterpress printed announcement with the message hidden from view, as well as some custom printed and die-cut glasses to help decode the hidden text.
The simple monogramed letterpress card features a pleasant but ambiguous illustration printed only in red ink. The card politely asks that you adorn the accompanying glasses,
which at first resemble classic 3D movie shades only both of the lenses are red. When the card is viewed with the glasses the red lenses cancel out the red illustration and reveal
the great news that’s printed beneath. BAM! Surprise! No one saw it coming, not even Mom.

The piece was printed in two colors on Neenah Neutech 160# Pure White, die-cut and hand assembled, and earned us a Copper Ingot in the AIGA 100 Show.

    31 Comments

  1. Peter

    This is amazing. What a great and fun idea. How much would something like this cost to produce?


  2. David

    Wow, great job guys. Very orginal. Did you have to work with another company to get the glasses?


  3. mandate

    Thanks David! As a matter of fact, we created the glasses ourselves. Printed, die-cut and then hand assembled here in the shop.


  4. mandate

    Glad you like it Peter! It depends, we custom price everything depending on how many are needed, etc. Drop us a line and we’ll gladly send you some pricing.


  5. B

    God that is creative. I am having the same issue right now and would love to do something similar. Awesome work


  6. Amanda Shea

    What a clever way to announce a pregnancy! That is the most unique message delivery I’ve seen yet. : ) I just linked to your site for the first time through a site I visit often: http://www.luxecetera.com/ Your entire site is beautiful ~ I’m so LUX found you and mentioned you on their blog. Have a wonderful day!


  7. Amanda Shea

    I’m so ***glad*** LUX found you… (left of that key word!) : )


  8. Paulina J!

    This is one of the coolest things I have EVER seen!! CONGRATS! Is it something you would reproduce to sell?


  9. mandate

    Thanks Paulina! Yes, we can definitely produce this piece again and customize it for various uses.


  10. Arody

    It’s so amazing!!!!! Never thought what it would say! Loved it!


  11. Liz

    this is great! is the text ‘behind’ the red ink a blind impression, or did you print it with an opaque white? Amazing job!!!


  12. mandate

    The underlying message is actually printed in a light shade of blue.


  13. Vipul Divecha

    This is ingenious. Where did the glasses go? Were they attached to the back of the card?


  14. Want a fun way to announce your pregnancy? | Heather Rivlin Photography

    [...] folks at Mandate Press have created a fun little card printed with hidden ink that requires 3D glasses to read the hidden words embedded in the design.  How cool is [...]


  15. surprise announcement + decoder specs by the mandate press | lab monkey says look

    [...] Surprise Announcement + Decoder Specs | The Mandate Press. [...]


  16. Kate

    this….is….awesome!


  17. william

    Simply Brilliant! If it isn’t already, your motto should be “Quality never goes out of Style – for every occassion!”


  18. liz findlay

    Ben- hello from the Findlays.
    seriously, this is rad.
    nice work as always!
    Hope you and the fam are doing great.


  19. Ron Nelson

    Can the message on this card be customized. Say, an invitation to a party? Thank you!


  20. mandate

    Ron, yes the message could definitely be customized to about anything you’d like.


  21. Debi Sementelli (@Letterheadgirl)

    Love this!!! Very creative, fun and cool.


  22. Debi Sementelli (@Letterheadgirl)

    Pricing on this???


  23. mandate

    Unfortunately we don’t offer any stock pricing on projects like this, but instead prefer to customize pricing to your needs. If you give us a little more info on our Request An Estimate page we’ll send you a custom quote right away.


  24. Hot Off the Presses | Smith & Ratliff

    [...] If you need anything (anything!) printed, please take a look at Mandate. They were fantastic to work with and their portfolio makes me drool. I mean, just look at this incredible announcement. [...]


  25. Danielle

    Thanks for the kind words and the endearing spot of drool ;)


  26. Danielle

    Debi – we’ll have someone contact you about pricing.


  27. cheryll villamor

    My husband and I recently found out we were pregnant and would love to use this announcement to mail to our friends and families. Please let me know the cost to mail for about 30-40 people =)


  28. mimi schürch

    Hi, how much would it cost to print 50 of these custom made? I am happy to assemble the glasses myself, no problem. they are wonderful!!
    would be for a wedding announcement


  29. Danielle

    If you would send a request for an estimate we can get you some pricing: print[at]themandatepress.com


  30. rohit

    Dear sir,
    can tell me is there any special ink u have use in this print, let me know, i am trying to print same u have print

    Thank you
    Rohit Hiware


  31. The Mandate Press

    Nothing special – just oil based printing ink.



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Question: Is letterpress printing more fashion or function? Answer: Yes.
Posted on December 17th, 2010 // Letterpress, Printing //

We find that most people choose to have something letterpress printed for the appeal of its visible impression and tactile nature. In other words, its style, or fashion. However, there are times when it’s the chosen production method simply because it’s the only tool that can do what is required by a certain project.

Such was the case when the talented crew at The Design Farm were creating great work for The Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii. Careful thought was put into both the design as well as the materials to be used. A very specific paper was chosen for a presentation folder, a handmade, fibrous stock that looks like it could be made from coconut husks or shredded palm leaves. It was perfect for the job. Unfortunately there was one small drawback; it was far too thick and chunky to be printed by conventional offset and digital presses. Screen printing was an option, but the surface was so rough and uneven that ink coverage would have been so spotty that legibility would have suffered. In the end, letterpress turned out to be one of the only realistic solutions. The unusual paper could be safely hand fed through our Vandercook Universal 1 proof press because of its adjustable bed. The pressure of the process transferred just enough of the design and our photopolymer plates could take the beating from the thick fibers and seeds embedded in the paper, where traditional lead type would have been severely damaged.

The end result was one of a kind. The job may have been driven by necessity of function but it scores bonus fashion points as a result.

This isn’t the first time we’ve printed on uncommon surfaces. Our presses have safely consumed the likes of wood veneer, fabric, and paper bags when special needs have risen. Drop us a line and let us know if you have an idea that you need help producing, we love to help brainstorm possibilities.

    2 Comments

  1. Julienne Guier

    Great Info thank you for sharing.


  2. Erich

    …it’s beautiful!



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Lights ARE on. Somebody IS home.
Posted on December 7th, 2010 // News //

Yep, We're Still Open

Someone called the other day and said “I just wanted to make sure you’re still open cause you haven’t updated your blog in two years.”

Touché observant viewer, touché.

The answer was of course: “Yes, yes we are.” In fact, we’ve never been more open and more in business. Despite the fact that our website has been not-so-mildly neglected we’ve been printing like mad and making big plans. A sincere thank you to those of you who continue to support us by choosing us to do your letterpress printing. If this is your first time visiting our site, don’t worry, there’s plenty more where these 3 posts came from. Drop us a line or give us a call, we’d be happy to send you pricing for  your next project and real paper samples that are better than a blog post any day.

We’re looking forward to an amazing 2011.

    No Comments

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