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.
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.
This birth announcement was a special one for my very own baby girl, Eden.
This announcement was letterpress printed using 4 colors on a metallic paper called Reich Shine. We had fun with this one and took advantage of some unique tricks such as overprinting and a split ink fountain. The end result is a print that actually appears to have more than the original 4 colors used.
See more photos of Eden’s birth announcement on our flickr page.
Spark some ideas? Let us get you some pricing on your next project, just tell us about it here.
This letterpressed business card for Ron Roark’s Mindpunch creative service is one of our recent favorites. Ron makes very wise use of artwork and ink coverage for letterpress printing. When the brain illustration was pressed into the paper the negative spaces in the illustration “pillow” up a bit around the impression. This added dimension really makes for a memorable business card that people won’t soon forget. Letterpress printed in 2 spot colors on Neenah Neutech 160# paper.
See more pictures of Ron’s great design on our flickr page.