Friday, April 1, 2011

Finishing Touches for the Reception

Boy, "The Time" is coming quickly upon us.  Last month, we ran the invites and the RSVPs with addressed envelopes.  Now, ideas are popping up for what to do for the reception.  A popular item that seems to be getting a lot of press from Victoria and Good Housekeeping, plus State and Regional Wedding Industry publications is the Pulp Drink Coaster.  So I contacted my fav vendor and the artist / bride-to-be.  Two millimeter four inch round coaster blanks were still the same price as they were when I ran my last run of coasters, and Anna determined that her original artwork used for the invitation design could be adapted to her liking, so we did a little digital magic and voila!

These will be reception gifts, banded in groupings of six, which will be placed on the tables at the out-door reception venue at Harmony Gardens, DeLeon Springs, Florida.  Since the wedding colours are teal and coral, I used my original CYMK (read: eyeball) mix formula and made up some custom teal for the coasters to match.  Instead of belly-bands, we are going to tie formal ribbon around each set of six, to give a more lacy and whimsical effect.

Hear is a shot of the coasters, hot off the press.  I ran these on my 1936 Chandler & Price "New Series" platen "job press", which is the perfect press type for coasters such as these.  We discovered that you really don't want to 'punch' pulp-board, that is, you cannot really strike a deep depression, or 'deboss' in pulp board owing to it's naturally short grain, which cracks rather than gives.  However, you can give a nice impression

This photo shows the level of impression that can be had just before the pulp gives way to cracking, which is fairly considerable.  The original artwork was pen and ink on paper, which is perfect for Letterpress because of it's natural high-contrast dynamic.  Pen and Ink illustration and Calligraphy are perfect sources for Letterpress Typography, which is why I always encourage folks who wish to design and illustrate for letterpress to utilise these traditional tools.  The steel nib pen or the quill, india ink, bristol board with a slight polish, Rapidograph pen or the more modern counterparts. 

Here is a close-up of how close I could take the image to the edge without sending a crack.  Pulp is amazingly resilient, so long as you don't broach the cracking point.  I wanted to avoid any bleed because if the image did this, then I would have to use parent sheets, cut the board down to press size, run it, then die cut it.  That is not only hugely time consuming, but it's also not a money saver.  Two millimeter board is not available in parent sheet anyway, so just as well design for availability, and save the client some money.

Here they are, One Thousand Coasters.  Hmm, that sounds like a group of indie buskers down on a St. Augustine street corner!  (Gary is thinking of "One Thousand Portraits", who, with "Waterdown", created some landmark music in the Christian Contemporary Music scene, some of which was picked up by Third Day.)

Well, as Walter Cronkite used to say: "That's the Way it is . . . . "  for 1 April, 2011.  Another press run at G. Johanson, Printer.  Only one more thing I might add: many of you may have checked out my video showing the makeready for the last coaster run from last year.  I did the same thing.  Would you believe that I had no makeready waste?  Everything registered perfectly, centered exactly right, with the very first impression!  Usually, it takes between ten and, depending on the colours used or how many times you have to feed your project through the press, twenty-five percent of your stock to properly set up, ink up and get your impression and registration lined up properly for your run.  And when your stock costs a couple bucks per sheet, that's a lot of waste!  But you MUST use the stock you are going to run, so it's unavoidable.  Using the transparency method really helps me out a lot, and I can transmit that savings to the client! 

Good Providence, fellow Letterpress Artisans, in all your Printing Endeavors!  And to you Brides and Grooms to be, looking forward to that Big Day, I wish you "God Speed".  The best house is always built upon a firm foundation, and the firmest foundation anyone can have is Jesus Himself, Who is abundantly able to carry you safely home.  

God Speed.

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