Wrapped: Making the most of make-ready

[Alyson Kuhn] Are you ready for this? My current favorite wrapping paper may look as if it were made for me, or at least with me in mind, but it is in happy fact merely make-ready from Peter Koch, Printers. We could say it’s PCW (printer’s cool w

aste) … with a superfine twist.

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Inside the studio: Starshaped Press

The motto of Starshaped Press is “All metal, all the time {except when it’s wood}.” These words alone suggest how this Chicago printer approaches the art of letterpress. In our latest tour of the studios and pressrooms of creative practitioners, designer and proprietor Jennifer Farrell reveals her Starshaped surroundings and muses on their relation to her clients and resulting works on paper.

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Dishin’ the dash

Our 12-year-old friend Jack continues to em-aze and en-thrall us with his attention to typographic detail and his appreciation of wordplay. Last month, he taught us the word favicon, strongly suggesting that a certain site (not ours) needed one. Last week, he was a bit em-barrassed when his mother described a hyphen as a dash. Here’s his voice message — and a sublimely timely link for en-lightenment.

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Sean Adams: 3 questions for Stefan Bucher

[Sean Adams] This is the plot of a classic ’30s Hollywood movie: The young actor toils away learning his craft, then one night gets that big break and becomes a star. Unfortunately, the design world doesn’t work this way. It’s not enough to have one big hit — a career is built on a series of successes. Stefan Bucher, however, combines the grit and the glam. He’s based his career on a stream of fantastic design solutions … and he had his big break at the 2009 AIGA Biennial Conference. All of a sudden, everyone was talking about the “two Stefans.” Of course one was Sagmeister, and the other Bucher.

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Sketchbook: Chris Piascik brings letters to life

From time to time we share the sketchbooks of artists, designers and illustrators who have captured our attention and admiration. These glimpses from the journals of Chris Piascik reveal a lifelong fascination with the alphabet, lettering and what he terms “overlapping lines.” Piascik designs, sketches, teaches, creates apparel and rides his bikes in Cromwell, Conn.

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F&W Finds: Japanese Oldbook Masking Tape

First washi tape, then beautifully colored tape combos to complement and compete with stamps on our letters and packages. Now add “Oldbook” masking tape to the growing assortment of Japanese deco-tapes — all available at the appropriately named CuteTape.com. [LS]