Bingo, A Meat Raffle And Letterpress



If you aren’t sure what a “meat raffle” is you should really look it up to fully understand the heritage of this design. It’s good to see a fine establishment carry on this noble tradition. Our friends at Fame created this cuss-worthy design for an invitation to party in their brand new office. Sam Soulek did the design and pattern work reminiscent of vintage beer ephemera.

The two oversize cards are printed with metallic gold ink and an orange pms on 60pt blotter board, both front and back. This fantastically pulpy and coaster-like stock gives the artwork a unique texture in addition to the letterpress impression. The cards fit together and mail in a French Paper Brown Speckltone A10 size envelope, also printed with the same gold ink. Note how the envelope design wraps from the face of the envelope and covers the flap on the back side. Since we fold open the pre-converted envelopes to print them, we are able to print the face and the flap at the same time. This invite is hot off the presses and is hitting mailboxes this week.


Such a pulpy stock material is not without problems. The blotter board stock is a wood fiber stock with very little sizing during the papermaking process. That makes printing on this sheet a bit like running a shedding rabbit through the letterpress. With such a raw surface, the fibers from the stock surface build up on the ink rollers like bunches of hair. That means extra wash ups during the run to keep the ink clean and free of hickies on the artwork. This stock also sucks up the ink, so you need good heavy ink density going down, which makes it a balancing act to keep the small type from filling in on the coarse surface. The paper formation produces a very mottled and salty looking texture in the ink coverage. But we think it’s a unique and vintage look that matches this design perfectly.


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  • I am not sure I would have the patience for such a hairy stock. Are you just cleaning up the rollers periodically or a complete wash up? Either way the results look excellent.

    As an aside: who gets tasked with folding back the flaps of all of your envelopes, or do you have it dome in some an automated way? I was never happy setting up catches to auto open the envelopes with the heidelberg feed system. If you get this to work I would love to see pictures!

  • A complete wash up is needed to rid the ink train of all the fiber. We’ve used a small amount of tack reducer in the ink at times to help with this problem. Every few hundred pulls needs a wash.

    For envelopes, flapping is all manual. But really it doesn’t take too long. A couple hundred envelopes can be flapped in a few minutes if you hold em’ right and have good music playing. We’ve really not had catches work without leaving marks or indents on the envelopes.

  • Gorgeous!!! I can feel the texture, that design rocks.

  • I’m curious as to how you bled the printing off of the envelope flap. Any printing over the flap edge would end up on the tympan and then offset on the next envelope printed, right? What’s your trick?

  • We have a little bit of plate overhanging the envelope where it bleeds and a little ink does get on the typman. We’ve not found that to be a bother, on darker stocks. But on lighter stocks, sometimes after we make ready the form, we will trim the polymer plate to the exact edge of the envelope. Another thing that can work is to run a frisket, but that is a whole lot more work than it’s worth. I go there as a last resort.

  • meat raffle!?!?! must be some BFE boredom thing.

    Good work and solution to the envelop. I think I would have had the envelop printed and then cut and glued versus pre-made.

  • BFE! Hey Minnesota ain’t BFE. And if you can get some bacon with your beer, well that’s just perfect.

    For smaller runs, envelopes are much more cost effective to run as pre-made rather than printing a flat sheet and converting. Since this invite was a smaller run, it doesn’t make sense to convert. Just the make ready an envelope converter requires for spoilage is 700-1000. That’s a lot of waste on a job that only needs 500 envelopes. We would have had to run three times the number of sheets to do it that way and hit client quantity.

  • holy crap I love those patterns. I don’t know much about the process of letterpress. Not really able to follow this comment convo. Maybe one day…. hmmm

  • Love this design, so inspirational.

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