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Archive for August 8th, 2010

Muffy Mead-Ferro came to Studio Z Mendocino for personal stationery, wanting to find an image of Indian Paintbrush, Wyoming’s state flower, to use as their motif. We looked and looked for something charming and appropriate, but were unable to dig up any already-existing art for this purpose. Instead of stressing out about it, Muffy hired an artist she knew to draw something special for her alone. He came up with this elegant rendering in two colors, which we adapted for letterpress by having two wood-mounted magnesium plates made. What you see above is Muffy’s card laid atop one of those printing plates. As you can see, this is the green plate. Another plate, with the same crop marks on the corners, bears the crimson part, and that red goes on the press as a second run. This is something people often don’t understand about Letterpress, that each color is a separate run through the press. Of course, this makes things a bit more expensive, but we think the loveliness is worth every cent.

We use the crop marks to register the colors to each other, positioning the exactly-matching crop marks so that they fall on top of each other on each press sheet. We also print the front and back of the cards on the same press sheet, at the same time, then “work and turn” them. That means once the first side is dry, we flip them over and print the other side. Then we chop them apart on our big guillotine cutter, again using those ubiquitous crop marks that show where the cutting will take place, which results inĀ  a bunch of two-sided cards, kind of like magic. This saves you money by allowing the same number of colors on front and back without an extra charge. Also kind of magical.

We printed Muffy’s stationery: small sized folding cards with the Indian Paintbrush image on the front, and her name, of course, and also letterpress printed a repeating pattern of the reduced Indian Paintbrush image on the envelope lining. They are very special, and I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of them to put up here. Check back later — maybe I will take one and post it soon. When we eventually did the calling cards, which she needed for her Wyoming address, we used the same motif, printing it onto 600 gram Cranes Lettra, our favorite premium, extra-thick, ultra-chic paper stock. As you can see, Muffy’s cards stand out in a crowd.

If you have a favorite image or motif that is dear to your heart, we often can adapt things like that to letterpress requirements. Even a photograph can be made into a high contrast image and used to enhance one’s business or calling cards. Ask us about our design services, typographic expertise, and ways we can translate your design dreams onto actual paper things you can mail and hand out. We are really good at magic!

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