Seeing Stars and Moons

Occasionally there's a collection of ornaments sitting in the studio just begging to be put to use. This is the case with our hundreds of stars and little moons faces. So it was time they saw more action in the form of new cards. compile1Starting with stars (for obvious reasons), I built this form, hoping that it would be relatively, ahem, starshaped. After a bit of tweaking with different sized stars, it came together:

TstarI wanted to explore pressure printing as a way to round out the card and add another color. So I cut out the star (and ultimately the moon) from a piece of chipboard that was taped to the initial carbon proof of the form. The solid background could then be placed in the makeready on press to alter how both a piece of linoleum and wood would print on top of it.

pressureprintsThe background was printed first with the linoleum block, and then with a same-sized piece of wood type (the back side of the type). These were both done in the same color, so as to add texture without overwhelming the design. They printed more heavily where there was extra cardboard, leaving a ghosted star image inside. Then the burgundy stars were printed.



2star2After all that, the thought of a reversal of the pressure print came to mind. So instead of printing the solid background, I put the chipboard star down in its place so that only the star printed with a bit of 'noise' around the edges. I did this after printing the stars, so it made the burgundy a little darker.


star4Now that you've enjoyed these stars, go watch this.

Time for moons! These guys got the same treatment as the stars, but in a round moon shape. Love the lined details on the tiny ones.

TmoonsThe background is printed in a slightly different blue, but with the same linoleum-then-wood process.



2moon4Then I did the reverse as well which gives the moon a different look with fuzziness around the edges.

moon2You can see a process shot here with the 2-hit version at the bottom and the linoleum-only shot at the top. Everyone loves wood grain, right?


moon3Both the moon and star cards are available individually and in sets on our etsy site right now. The perfect little blank greeting for everyday correspondence.

I Wood Die 4 U

If you know anything about wood type, then you're familiar with the important role the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum plays in the history of its creation, production and usage. In the last year, the heavy hitting digital type foundry, P22, teamed up with Hamilton to release new digital versions of many of their classic wood typefaces under the name Hamilton Wood Type Foundry. Rich Kegler, the talent behind the project, approached me about working with a few of the new faces, especially their star border, to see what I could come up with. And while pushing actual wood type around on press is more my speed, it was sure fun to come up with something that had no size restrictions or limitations based on what was in the typecase. From the comfort of my home and with Prince on the brain, here's what I did:





The Star Ornaments border is all sorts of awesome. It comes in various configurations that you can easily combine to create elaborate frames or maze-like images. And there are tons of stars to choose from, even more than what we have in the studio. Also shown here are: American Chromatic (too amazing for words, really), Antique Tuscan no. 9 and Republic Gothic.

Why wouldn't you want to get your hands on these gems? Follow along with the Foundry's adventures, and check out their site for ordering info. And no, this isn't a paid endorsement (just a plain ol' enthusiastic one), though if I'm lucky there might be some Buffalo wings in my future.