Oh mannnnnnnn. It's been a while, and you know why? ‘Cause I've spent the last few weeks mind-puking all the things I know about printing techniques in preparation for an exclusive class through Skillshare which can be found right here!!
The class, "Design for Print: Stand Out With Specialty Printing Techniques,” is now live and I'm super excited to share it with everyone. We’ll be covering all kinds of fun stuff like spot varnishes, edge coloring, duplexing, triplexing, sexplexing—the whole gamut. It's gonna be pretty introductory in nature, but even some seasoned designers can pick up some tips and links in there.
I also teamed up with the fine folks over at Mama's Sauce, who will be sponsoring the shindig. We're going to be creating business cards as the class project, and one lucky student project will be selected to get printed for FREE! If you aren't that one lucky person, don’t worry! You can still send it over to the Sauce for a cool 10% off just by enrolling in the class.
Ya know, it’s almost like I'm paying you to take the class. Quit taking advantage of me.
Another venture I have been quietly working away at is a new side project called Madison Glass Co.! Since the brand and products are new to all of us, I’ll introduce what’s going on and some things about it to get started.
I love making paper products here at 55 Hi's but over the course of the last few years, I’ve really been interested in branching out and experimenting on some more practical and specialized items for the home. I feel like a lot of designers and websites out there make available every design imaginable as a print or poster and I really wanted to make something you couldn’t get anywhere else.
Originally, this was slated to be a limited edition jar brand. I liked the idea of jars and painting them, but it felt too narrow and therefore I ended up landing on glassware. Instead of trying to force glass products into the 55 Hi’s brand, which is a pre-existing Screenprint and Letterpress stationery business model, I decided to start new and create the brand you are seeing now, Madison Glass Co.
Another shift is the social media stuff. If you follow 55 Hi’s on Twitter, Instagram, or Dribbble, you will notice (or have noticed) a small shift in the handle and description. In an effort to not be redundant, and constantly posting the same things to two different accounts, I decided to shift the handles to “_rossmoody” as opposed to a brand.
Since I’m the only person working at both companies anyway (and they are somewhat similar in content), I figured it best to not split up brand names quite yet and ask people follow multiple accounts for roughly the same updates. You were always talking to me before @55his but now I’m just a face instead of a logo.
To give a little background on the birth of Madison Glass Co., I started toying with the idea of painting glassware in October of 2013. Having never made or seen anything like what I had in my head, I started experimenting with techniques I thought might work. Little did I know, it would become a nightly obsession for the next 4 months. A never ending valley of ups and downs from making sure the ink was dishwasher safe, to perfecting the technique of applying it to glass.
A few variations (of the many dozen) include 5 different types of vinyl, 4 different types of paint mask, 6 different types of glass ink, varying degrees of baking cycles, solvent ratios, plotters, colors, ink transparency, indirect food safe concerns, paint brushes, airbrushes, HVLP paint guns, etching, sandblasting, packaging, shipping and an endless amount of other small concerns all went into the the endless pursuit for the best finish possible.
After weeks of dialing in the production method it was off to the races for putting the brand together. I brainstormed with my friend Rick over iChat for about two weeks on a name. A few early contenders were• Levine Glass Co. • Amsterdam Glass Co. • Basic Glass Co. • Found Glass Co.
I’d like to say I weighed all my options and picked Madison Glass Co. because of some extremely spiritual reason but I didn’t. Two things made the decision for me.
- It was the only available domain and handle for hundreds of brand names we tried.
- I have a dog named Madison and she demanded we name it after her.
For the logotype, I turned to long time friend, Riley Cran for help and was blown away by what he came back with. Armed with the communication “I want it to feel like a Marshall Amplification logo”, he came back with a better mark than I could even imagine. If you are unawares of Riley Cran’s work, check out some typefaces he’s designed on the Lost Type website he co-runs or give him a follow on twitter.
Working is more fun with friends, so I asked a few more type-buddies to contribute some designs to the opening lineup.
First up is a fun one from Ryan Hamrick. This was one of the first concepts I had for glassware when brainstorming the idea. He was kind enough to send over some in progress which is always fun to look at.
We have a few amazing designs from Ricardo Gonzalez.
Another fun idea I’m excited to share is custom glassware. The jist with these is customizable pint glasses in varying typefaces. In the listing you can put in any name under 10 characters, and using the typeface (plus any attractive ligatures!), I will create a custom pint glass. Birthdays, weddings, or craft brew fans might dig a glass with their name on it! Or you could ya know, do what I would do and just put “Dickbag” on it and give it to a friend.
I'm also excited to start work on some custom glasses! For he first ever custom glass, we teamed up with the dudes over at TypeFight to bring a custom glass for all the winners! Should you win your bout, you get a hand painted gold goblet of glory featuring the TypeFight logo.
If you have an idea on a custom glass you were thinking of, please let me know!
There are so many fun things planned for Madison Glass Co. I can’t wait to share them all with you and I hope you can’t wait to check them out. I will be sharing new items on the blog so feel free to subscribe to the RSS feed, or check out Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
This is all new territory and if you have any suggestions or ideas, please do reach out and email me. I’m all ears and I would love to hear some feedback.