Archive for September 26th, 2009

Troy Covey Business Cards 2

Letterpress printers, like Studio Z Mendocino, traditionally have had a hard time printing big solids with knocked out (the letters are paper color) type, and we assiduously advise against it. Like, it’s against the LAW, OK? But just look!

Troy Covey brought us this great big idea for his business cards, and we took the bull by the horns and made it happen. We are proud of these cards because, not only are they incredibly impressive and bold, but they were a feat of letterpress bravery and prowess, maybe even sleight of hand, maybe even, how crazy can these letterpress printers get and stay out of jail?

I am quite sure that nobody who gets one of these cards can possibly know about the breaking of the LAW or the holding of the mouth just right as the oatmeal-thick ink smooshed around on the Heidelberg press’s form rollers. What regular, non-letterpress-printer-type people, perceive is the DIMENSION of it, the impression into the uber-thick Cranes Lettra 600 gsm paper, the way TROY COVEY stands up out of the gorgeous crimson, actually stands up so you can feel it with your fingers. It’s hard to understand it, just looking at the photos, but once you get your hands on one, you know there is something very powerful about this work. It’s a subtle, ephemeral difference that sets it apart from everyone else’s business cards. It is, in more ways than one, impressive.You can see the impression’s little shadow a bit more in the next photo.

Troy Covey Business Cards 5

Troy Covey Business Cards 4

When you make a card like this by letterpress, it is necessary to run the heavy coverage in a separate run from the lighter coverage of just the type on the back. So, even though this is all the same color, it was considered, and billed as, a two-color job, or a two-run job, if you will. If you try to run everything at the same time, either there will be too much paper texture bleeding through on the solid side or terrible gloopiness on the light type of the back side, destroying its integrity. So, although I am still discouraging this type of illegal activity, I wanted to gloat and brag a bit about the skill we bring to the fabulous craft of letterpress printing.

If you have something like this up your sleeve, you should take pains to make the knocked out type bold and big. A big solid with 6 point sans serif type in white would not be a successful plan, in most cases.

May I say, too, that I have been a letterpress printer since a million years ago, and I have know some truly great letterpress printers in my time, but I have never met any printer as good as Rhea Rynearson, who has worked here with me for almost half her life. Persnicketiness doesn’t tell half of it. She is an extraordinary craftsperson and it is amazing what she is capable of doing.

One more of Troy’s photos for good measure:

Troy Covey Business Cards 7

Thank you, Troy, for testing our mettle. We do love a challenge.

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