What is letterpress?
Letterpress is a relief printing process. Raised plates, type, or carved blocks are inked and pressed into paper to make an impression. Letterpress printing traditionally involved hand-set moveable type meticulously arranged and locked-up into the bed of a press. While hand-setting type is still done today, letterpress printing is also done using hard printing plates made from designs created on a computer.
How fast is your turnaround time?
Our average turnaround time for letterpress orders is approximately 7-10 business days, after artwork approval.
Do you offer rush services?
Yes. Rush turnaround times and fees vary based on job and press schedule. Please contact us about your project.
Is there a minimum quantity required?
No, we do not have a minimum quantity of pieces per order. However, because the cost of materials and set-up time are the same no matter the quantity, the price per unit is higher for a smaller quantity order.
Do you ship orders?
Yes. We can ship anywhere in the United States for a minimal additional fee.
What kind of ink do you use?
We print with a rubber based letterpress ink. An extremely thin layer of ink is applied to the plate through each pass allowing for a crisp image. Printing on an uncoated cotton paper will yield a slightly less saturated image since letterpress ink is slightly transparent. Printing on coated paper will yield more saturation. Because letterpress ink is transparent, overlapping colors will create a third mixed color.
How many colors is too many?
Typically letterpress is designed to print one or two colors. 3 and 4 colors are possible, but the more colors that are added, more time and cost are required because each color is a totally new setup and pass through the press.
Can you print white ink on black paper?
We can print white ink on black letterpress paper. However, since letterpress ink is transparent it is better suited for printing dark colors on light paper. A slight grey will be achieved with white ink on dark stock. If a bright white is required, we recommend foil stamping with white foil.
Can you print metallic inks?
Metallic inks are used with letterpress but the nature of the process and paper do not yield a super glossy metallic finish. The finished print will have a hint of metallic sheen. This is because of the cotton paper that is typically used. It absorbs the ink rather than allowing it to sit on top of the paper. If a shiny metallic is required, we recommend foil stamping.
How do you match my color?
Matching colors is a hand-done process using PMS swatch books that show mixture measurements. If a color needs to be matched, all we would need is a physical sample of that color and we can match it. Although, the "hand-printed" nature of the process gives each piece a unique look so ink will not be EXACTLY the same on all pieces. A slight variation from piece to piece is part of what makes this form of printing appealing.
What is a blind impression?
A design element achieved by printing with a plate without ink. We do not recommend blind printing for detailed text that must be legible. Blind printing is priced the same as an ink color as printing plates and passes through the press are still required.
What kind of paper do you use?
The stock that we keep in house is Crane’s Lettra 100% recycled cotton. This consists of 110# and 220# stocks with three color options: Fluorescent White, Pearl White, and Ecru White. We also carry the matching envelopes for each of these options.
What papers print best with letterpress?
When printing using letterpress, the paper needs to be soft, lush and “pillow-y” this will allow for the form to make an impression in the paper and for that impression to stay. Papers that do not work well would be stocks that are very dense and compressed.
What sizes can you all print?
We have two presses. The primary press is a small form press that allows for artwork to be up to 6” x 9”. This means that the sheet can be larger than 6” x 9” (by an inch or so) but the artwork has to stay within the 6” x 9” size. The secondary press is much larger and can print a sheet size up to 14” x 20” with the artwork as large as 12” x 18”.
What envelopes do you keep in stock?
We stock Crane Lettra cotton envelopes in a variety of sizes. We would be happy to print on other stock that you provide or would like to order. Please note that turnaround time may extend due to special ordering.
I already have my design. What do you need from me?
We accept .ai, .eps, or print ready .pdf files. Please include the packaged font files or outline the fonts. If artwork extends beyond the paper, please include a standard .125" bleed in your file.
Do you all offer design services?
Of course! We are also a full design studio and would be happy to help you either come up with a design or translate your artwork into print ready files. Go to our contact page and drop us a line.