Return of the Spinvite™

Inked up (7" record)

In the year since we printed the first Spinvite™ we put the whole project on the back burner to complete some other projects (listed here). But we’ve never stopped dreaming about paper records. We have big plans for the Spinvite, and as such, we applied for a trademark towards the beginning of the year. The process is slow, but we recently received a notification from the Trademark Office that everything’s on track and it should be finalized soon. In the meantime, we’ve been doing R&D and saving money to invest into some upgrades that’ll improve the product and bring down the cost and production time.

George (Studio on Fire), Bob (Skylab Letterpress), Ben (Letterpess Mechanic) and Bryan (Midwest Ephemera) at Wayzgoose 2022.

Our holiday cards used up about a third of our initial batch of blank records and labels, so we’d been looking for an excuse to print more on the existing blanks. Hamilton Woodtype and Printing Museum’s annual “Wayzgoose” conference is our favorite event of the year, with amazing lectures and workshops. One of the highlights of the weekend is a “Print Swap” where attendees trade their prints, usually made specifically for the event. It’s a great way to meet new friends and see what your old friends have been up to. It was obvious… a Wayzgoose Spinvite! What better way to show off our growing skills and capabilities?

hand-set type for "Inked Up" Spinvite

We set to work… this time out, we used all hand-set type, printing three colors on the label, two colors on the jukebox tags, and one color on the sleeve. It took about two and a half full workdays to typeset, print, and assemble 120 pieces. Once again, the glossy labels were the hardest part to print. When we print more blanks, we’re going to switch to uncoated stock which will make them easier to print and offer more color options. We’re also looking at different stock for the records themselves, we have some ideas that will show off the grooves to better effect.

"Inked Up" jukebox labels

We packed a 1950s record tote full of “records” to swap, and headed off for Two Rivers. The weekend, as always, was wonderful and educational, and our Spinvites were a big hit with the other printers and designers. We came home with a giant stack of wonderful posters and cards that we received in trade.

Final "Inked Up" Spinvite in sleeve with jukebox strip
grooves (detail)

About a third of the run of the original “blanks” remains, hopefully we’ll find another project or two for those as we develop the next-generation Spinvite over the winter. Please keep us in mind if you need invitations, announcements, gift certificates, awards, anything that could be presented as a 7″ circle. We can of course design and print jukebox tags, custom sleeves for DJs or collectors, business cards, stationery. If there’s any design or printing at all we can help with, please give us a shout! We could even design and print your actual record labels and sleeves.