Thursday, October 16, 2008

Field Trip

Lately, it's seemed like Christiana was getting all the fun field trips - San Francisco just ends up having more to see and do. But when I had the opportunity to visit Studio on Fire this week, Minneapolis definitely stepped up to the plate. Studio on Fire is one of the best letterpress shops in town, if not the country. At my job with a branding agency, every now and then I would be lucky enough to work with a client that understood the wonderfulness of letterpress, and we'd always go straight to Studio on Fire. The reason for my visit on Monday was to check out stock for our new Hygge & West business stationery! We'll post photos as soon as we have it...

Our tour started in their office space where I stood stunned before this wall of letterpress goodness featuring everything from wedding invitations to business cards and corporate promotion pieces. I could have stayed there all day. My sister, who usually is not at all into this sort of thing, was equally impressed. That's how good their work is.

Here Corey delves deeper into the samples of wedding systems. If any readers are getting married soon and want incredible invites, you need to get in touch with SOF. They work with couples all over the country and offer top notch design services.
I especially liked this system with a Grain Belt theme - the Grain Belt beer sign is a staple of the Minneapolis skyline. The wedding took place at Noernberg Gardens, a mansion built by one of the founders of Grain Belt in 1890. Thus the invite was a nice nod to both the location of the wedding and, I can only assume, the beer loving ways of the bride and groom.
Next we went down to the press rooms and got to check out all the machinery. The press above allows them to print larger format pieces such as the poster below which will soon be available online in their store.

We were lucky enough to watch some envelopes being produced while we were there. Impressive fact - all of the press operators also have fine art backgrounds, so through every step of the process the piece is treated as a work of art.

And, of course a small homage to Elvis. What would a design studio be without one?

We left with a couple goodies - first this piece done in cooperation with illustrator Federico Jordan...

And a highly coveted copy of their 2008 calendar. They would send these as promotional pieces when I worked at the agency, and fights would literally break out over them. Seriously. I was once locked out of the office because I came back from a press check with at test sheet of the 2007 one and refused to share it. Apparently the 2009 version is just about complete and should be available soon!

Along with the calendar, their online store features a really amazing selection of note cards (that are more worthy of framing than mailing) and stationery. Also, check out their new blog, Beast Pieces for more information about their studio, letterpress, and cool images of fighting Eagles (birds, not the 70s rock band). Thanks for the tour, Selina - we can't wait to get the stationery!

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