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"Tell the chef, the beer is on me."
Lettersketch was founded in 2011 by best friends Teela Cunningham (graphic designer) and Nina Roefaro (interior designer) who dreamed of starting something artistic together. Sketchbooks have always been an important part in both of their design lives; a record of our growth, of thoughts, who they were before today, all making a mark with graphite on paper.
Our purpose was to create something we could feel responsible for, environmentally and aesthetically. We like subtlety with a focus, so we knew blind impression was the direction we wanted to go, and throwing in some pops of red seemed like a no brainer. Our sketchbooks are entirely USA made with a beautiful cotton stock cover and FSC certified (made with windpower!) interior stock. Each sketchbook comes with a hand stamped 100% cotton pouch, and because we like working with our hands, we threw in a red carpenter's pencil, hot stamped with our logo in white - the pencil most commonly sharpened by hand.
When we first came up with our idea, the plan was to letterpress the covers. After discussing the project with our printer, we learned a lot about the difference between letterpressing with a cold polymer plate vs. debossing with heat and a copper plate. Obviously going the copper route was more expensive (you're charged per square inch for the plate), but these plates will last and last (making future jobs much cheaper), while a cold polymer plate's lifespan is limited. Using the copper plate also allowed for deeper, crisper impressions--our greatest concern because everything about our idea relied on the tactile experiences our customers would get. We were stoked with how everything came out, and still love running our digits across them!
This calendar is a dream come true for stationery addicts. Not only is it in handy page-a-day form, but each sheet doubles as a grocery list, project organizer, event planner or other nifty reminder. Plus, the holiday pages are foil stamped on gorgeous stock. Duly noted!
For Qube's 2012 calendar we wanted to combine the everyday with people's love of taking notes, leaving notes, jotting down, scribbling etc. The challenge was how to combine the two and still make it aesthetically pleasing and useful. After some creative soul searching we developed a TAKE NOTE 'block' which combined 365 days with a unique set of notes on the reverse of each day. The box had two sides 'Take Note' on one side for the days and 'Noted' on the other for the note papers. The national holidays were treated slightly differently using a more exotic stock and printing techniques including debossing and foil stamping. We also included the Chinese calendar dates which was very typographically challenging.
Matchstic didn't start the fire, but they breathe new life into it with a systematically rubber-stamped identity redesign.
We came away with an idea of creating a system of standardized tools (like stamps) that ensure a consistent look and feel, but could be applied in infinitely unique and flexible ways. The result of that idea is 30+ custom Matchstic stamps that can be applied in various ways on business cards, note cards, packaging, and any other printed material (including body art). Included in the set is every team members personal stamp with their contact information to applied to our business card shell. This allowed us to letterpress two versions of really high-end cards for a fraction of the normal cost.
Self-promotional business cards provide an excellent opportunity for experimentation. Letterpressing an intricate design on chipboard proved a successful endeavor for designer Oleg Lyutov. Any readability lost in translation is clearly reconciled with the rich texture of pressed chipboard.
These were designed with an intent to emphasize the sense of custom, precious, and sustainable design, which can be affordably created and executed. These cards are not designed only to stand out, but also to be able to resist wear and tear due to the robust features of the chipboard.
The production process is the great example that an impossible may come true. During the design process, there were serious doubts whether such intricate details can be transferred onto photopolymer. Further on, it was a challenge to apply a proper amount of ink so the excess will not be pushed out and fill the negative space when debossing occurs. Thirdly, it was absolutely unclear how well the crude chipboard would take the letterpress impression. Another challenge was to engineer custom grippers that would hold the pre-cut cards in place. During the production process, it was discovered that packing the platen with a metal sheet, rather than a paper, would give the most dramatic deboss while maintaining sharp impression.
How do three colors, letterpress, and debossing team up to send an understated message? More is less in this case as every vibrant detail harmonizes into one soothing song of eternal summer. It makes me crave baseball. One could easily pass 9 innings exploring each exquisite mark in this detailed field, making a favorite pastime of zooming out to appreciate the individual blades of grass combining into a cohesive whole.
Initially wanted to have the background (blind/hint shape) as a foil stamp but It might have taken too much attention and caused some production problems such as ink not being absorbed by the foil when letterpressed. So I decided to go with a blind deboss with just a slight hint of color. The edge coloring was done by myself on a few of them just for test.
"Tell the chef, the beer is on me."
"Basically the price of a night on the town!"
"I'd love to help kickstart continued development! And 0 EUR/month really does make fiscal sense too... maybe I'll even get a shirt?" (there will be limited edition shirts for two and other goodies for each supporter as soon as we sold the 200)