If you need beautifully custom designed and printed paper goods, please read on!
I provide letterpress printing for invitations, social stationery, business cards,and anything else you can imagine!
What is letterpress printing?
A brief history:
The process involves pressing a raised image / design against the paper leaving a slightly debossed impression. It is a very elegant process, the machinery is beautifully simple.
Quite common as an everyday method of reproduction up until around the mid 1950s, letterpress printing was used to print commercially marketed books, posters, business papers, newspapers, and much more. As offset printing gained popularity, use of letterpress declined. Historically, printers set individual lines of lead type to form words or used a machine called a Linotype to set entire lines of type all in one block (called a 'slug). Much like a typewriter married to molten lead that casts each character as it is typed. Quite amazing!
These days, many letterpress printers utilize photo-polymer plates for printing. These flexible and strong plates can taker the shape of just about anything you can draw or design on your computer. Setting lead type is an art into itself as almost all of the type is very old, inconsistent in its behavior and requires meticulous bracing with metal spacers to ensure the line of text fits exactly as the lines above and below it.
Do you have a minimum number of pieces for an order?
No minimums, however, letterpress print work is very process and labor heavy. Setting up the press for each pass (and that means each individual color), mixing inks, and adjusting the pressure are things that take time. After you have spent some of of your budget on this part of your project, wouldst you like to have as much finished work as possible? Your price per print will decrease incrementally when your total order increases.
What I need from you:
Every project starts with an inspired idea. Your initial inspiration can be a color, a shape, or a general theme. Take some time to ponder what you would like the final product to look like. How do you want those seeing and touching it to respond. How does your idea relate to who you are and does this offer a reflection of that?
To get started we need a design. I am happy to design for you , work together with you on a design, or use one you have already created.
Do we need to meet in person?
Nope! No need. But if you are in the area I would love to meet you and show you paper samples, color choices, and the like. I am always happy to meet in a location in between my studio and your home if needed. However, this process can easily be completed online and via telephone. I am more than happy to email proofs. Your final printed project will be shipped to you via USPS Priority Mail. If you prefer UPS or FedEx, I can arrange for this as well.
How long does it take?
Because all jobs have differing design phases, I will typically begin my time estimate at the point in which you sign off on the design, the paper, ink colors, and quantity. From there, the design gets 'plated' (turned into a photo polymer plate). This process creates a flexible, yet very durable, printing plate that is used for printing. Depending on the day we finalize design, it can take from one to three days. During this phase, your paper gets prepped for printing, and your job gets scheduled for the press.
Depending on the press schedule, printing your job should take one to two weeks to complete. Often times jobs are completed sooner.
I want to submit my own design for you to print:
Fantastic! Here's what I need:
Ideally, you will send me a your illustrator (.ai) or inDesign (.indd) file. Make sure you outline all your text. It is very easy to miss small elements of text. Check and check again. Your file must be created using a CMYK space in your design program. All elements in 100% Black. (K 100%)
For your two or more color designs, please print separations using spot colors (Pantone) or CMYK separations.
Skinny jeans, yes! Skinny lines, no. Please ensure that the width of your lines, for illustrations and text, are no smaller than .05pt wide. For text with punctuation, set the line width to at least 1pt. This safeguards your design against breakage once the plate is created.
Press ready, please! When I receive your file I will look through it make sure the design 'makes sense' for letterpress printing. For example, you want to try and design with balance. The process involves pressing a plate flat against the paper. If half your design is very heavy and complex, but the other half of the plate has three small characters 'floating' , obtaining correct pressure will be more complicated, take longer to print, and end up costing you more of your budget. Another thing to watch out for are designing large fields of solid color. Letterpress is an over-achiever at line art. But confronted with, for example, a 3x3 inch square of solid ink coverage, your results will be quite inconsistent, some might even say splotchy
Wait! I even made my own printing plate. Can I use that, too?
Absolutely! I am more than happy to use your plates. Please note that you assume responsibility for the quality and 'print-ability' of your plate.
**Can you design for me?
Yep! My fee is $35 / hr.
What are my paper an ink color choices?
I custom mix my inks so pretty much any color you can imagine is at your disposal.
For your paper, I carry two lines, French Paper 140# (for a smooth finish) and Cranes 'Lettra' 110#, which is a velvety pillow-like stock. I can access many other shades as a custom paper. (special fees will be incurred for special orders and your time line will be slightly longer than jobs printed on standard house paper)
I need a custom bound book.
Custom binding is priced by the job. No jobs are the same. Here is one example of a popular item; the wedding register book. A 40 page exposed stitch, cloth covered book will typically cost no more than $125.00