Writing this page for MyPrintResource pushes me to find exciting new content and talk to printers and designers about how they do what they do best. It’s enriching. A monthly column is also, well, monthly. And not all months are created equal. Through various circumstances this month’s deadline arrived and I had nothing. So this column is dedicated to one of Under Consideration’s own projects. I don’t intend to make this a recurring approach as I don’t want to appear self-serving, but c’est la vie sometimes.
This past September we held the Brand New Conference, a one-day event we organize with speakers from around the world on the subject of designing logos and identities and helping shape brands. The conference’s own identity was inspired by the hand-painted brush signs you find at small grocery stores or corner bodegas with prices and weights. Sometimes these signs are taped against the window from the inside, luring customers. From this idea of transparency, we decided to build the conference’s program and a commemorative poster, printed by BurdgeCooper in Los Angeles.
The body of the program, a 5x7-inch 36-pager, was printed digitally on a Xerox iGen3. While our default inclination is to print everything offset, BurdgeCooper recommended going digital. “At quantities this small ,” explains project manager Richard Masland, “it’s much more cost-effective to produce digitally and avoid making physical plates and long press set-up times.”
One of our sponsors was Neenah Paper, so we chose Coronado SST (Special Surface Treated) papers, which are ideal for digital printing. The subtle pebbled (stipple) finish added an unexpected touch. The cover of the program was printed on a 17-pound UV/ULTRA II stock of Neenah Translucents to achieve the transparency theme.
“Neenah translucents,” explains Masland, “perform particularly well on press, ensuring stability, tight registration, and a strong ink hold when image clarity is critical.” The cover, printed two-spot, ran on one of BurdgeCooper’s smaller two-color offset presses. “Paper this lightweight is more difficult to feed,” he said, “so it took some fine adjustments to the press’ feeder to get the stock flowing correctly, which is to be expected.” The second item was a 17x23.5 inch poster, printed four-spot, on a Heidelberg 19x25.5 MOSP six-color offset press and on the 28-pound Translucent stock.
“This is the first poster we’ve done on a translucent stock,” Masland noted. “One step we took for this stock was to pre-mix our regular spot inks with 10 percent hard dry to ensure that the ink doesn’t rub off.”
The design of the poster is purposely busy, so we at Under Consideration thought that overprinting would make for a nice effect. There were a lot of elements on the poster, some overprinting and others trapping. Fearing that prepress might get confused, we ‘prepressed’ our own InDesign file, breaking down the artwork in layers by plate; even determining the color order—red, blue, yellow, black—to achieve the right effect.
To carry the program, the poster, and other goodies, we found a very cool clear tote bag from an online vendor. The artwork was foil-stamped, as opposed to the more typical silkscreening, because that’s the only process that will stick to the glossy bag substrate. All together, the materials came together by this idea of transparency. And they look pretty cool, too.
You can see many more pictures here: http://www.underconsideration.com/fpo/archives/2011/09/2011-brand-new-conference-materials.php
Armin Vit, a graphic designer and writer, is co-founder and principal of UnderConsideration, a graphic design firm and publishing enterprise in Austin, TX. Among the handful of design industry blogs he runs is FPO (For Print Only), celebrating the reality that print is not dead by showcasing the most compelling printed projects. www.underconsideration.com/fpo/