Chamber Insider Blog

Inside Look on the Job – Sagetopia Designers Learn a New Skill

Post by Jesse Wells, designer at Sagetopia

As graphic designers, we are always learning the latest in technology. Whether it is a new software or a social media trend, being on top of the latest innovations helps us find the most helpful and creative solutions. Every so often, though, we like to go back to our roots and work on something that is more tactile and hands-on. We purchased a Reprex letterpress several years ago and it is a great outlet for getting our hands dirty and creating small-scale projects.

This holiday season, our Art Director Rachel came to us with a few quotations by one of her favorite poets, Rumi. One of them was, “Very little grows on jagged rock. Be ground. Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are.” We thought it was so beautiful and our gears started turning on how we could incorporate this maxim into a fun hands-on holiday project!

We enlisted the help of illustrator Donna Grethen to compose a few unique letterpress cards, and started our collaboration. She sent some initial sketches over, and it was so difficult to choose!

The Sagetopia team voted on the quotes and sketches that best represented them to us.

Finally, we were able to narrow down the quotations and images to 6 multi-color cards. Once we were able to clean up the images digitally, we sent them to Boxcar Press to have photopolymer plates made, and when they arrived they looked like this:

Using the plates, we began printing our cards on beautiful lettra paper, using the Reprex letterpress.

This kind of printing is a time-consuming, yet incredibly rewarding process. Each color has to be printed separately, and painstakingly lined up for registration. Then, each card is printed individually, as we manually feed the paper through the mechanical press.

After we made it through all of the color layers (7 colors in all!), we sent our precious cargo to the folks at GOOD printers, where they cut and scored the cards for us. It was so exciting to get them back and to see all of the individual cards with letterpress on them.

We are so pleased with the final product, and happy to be able to send to those who have helped to make this year so successful. Happy New Year!

Check out our Chamber Member Sagetopia for your design needs! We love them and they’re our neighbors! -AL

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