The 2012 Art ball Invitation

I just love old fashioned print jobs that break the boundaries. So when Alexis Larson (of Dayton Daily News fame and now at the Dayton Art Institute) talked to me about doing something ultra cool, yet on a budget we found just the answer. In case you don’t know, the DAI Art Ball is a big event, always has been and probably always will be. And they’ve done some pretty cool things in the past for their invitation. This years a little different, with Michael Roediger and Jane Black taking over the helm of the Art Institute, they are breathing new life into that Grand Old Icon of Dayton up looking over the city.

So the theme of the Art Ball this year is “A Rendezvous Royal”, and the theme image is a picture of a bronze statue of “Loie Fuller” against a background of Paris. Alexis wanted the bronze statue to really jump off of the page. Well, embossing or foil stamping the statue was just too expensive and probably would not give the look we all wanted. But then came an idea. We had used a clear gloss sparkle varnish in the past, which is basically a clear varnish with some sort of sparkles suspended in it. Even though the invitation was printed in 4/color, it still retained a metallic look, and with the gloss sparkle varnish on top of that it just added to the metallic effect.

Click to see all 4 pieces

But a gloss varnish alone just didn’t have enough contrast between finishes to get where we wanted, so we added a dull varnish on everything else to really pick up that contrast between the gloss and the dull. Now when doing this trick (and we’ve done it before) you need to do 1 very important thing, and that’s print the non-varnish parts (basically all the 4/color) and let it dry overnight, and that’s called dry trapping. if you try to run the varnish in line, it will tend to blend in with the wet ink just a little (that’s called wet trapping) and you just won’t get that real dull to gloss contrast.

Anyway, when it was all done, this piece turned out fabulous, and with Oregon giving a little support to the Art Ball and to DAI, they we able to stay within their budget.

I need to add another thought about the Dayton Art Institute. On top of just being named 2nd Best in the Arts for a mid-sized city, Dayton is so incredibly lucky to have a resource like DAI, and many of us just take it for granted, for no other reason than its just always been there. Check out their Thursday night Jazz nights or their Cafe (lunch is incredible). Or just become a member, but do something to support them…then see an exhibit or go to the Oktoberfest and have a beer. I’m just saying in these days when so many of our world headquarters have moved on (yes, the folks that used to be big corporate supporters of the arts community), its up to those of us left to figure out ways to support local art.

The fold over RSVP card used the same gloss/dull treatment
Tried to show the contrast of the gloss and dull varnish, tough on a photo...