We think getting letterpress printing is even better than a gold watch. It is a great production option for special corporate occasions too, not just weddings. This invitation to celebrate Dunhams 50 years in business was designed by Riley Hayes Advertising. The type driven design is accented with a matching bright red matching edge color.
These pieces were inked with 3 color on one side with a tonal varnish on the other. We printed an invitation and map card together on a new favorite sheet – French Poptone Sweet Tooth White 280lb Cover. We like it enough that we are now custom making it to keep on hand as a house sheet. The thickness is about 40 points (.038 inch) which is a matching thickness to Crane Lettra 220lb. The good things are that it is less expensive than a cotton sheet like Lettra and smoother in surface, not as toothy a finish. It takes a great impression and works great for edge coloring as well.
Hatch Design created these invitation cards for the upcoming leaders of design lecture with Joel Templin at my alma mater, College of Visual Arts. Should be a top notch talk.
We letterpress printed these 4 x 6 sized cards on French Muscletone Construction Pure White. One of the things we really like about this sheet is that it is a single ply 140lb Cover rather than a pasted, multi ply sheet. Most other commercial papers from other mills achieve a thicker paper by pasting a 2 ply sheet for thicknesses of 130lb and up. That makes the sheets stiff. Since the French sheet is a single ply, it is a bit softer and less rigid – both qualities desirable for letterpress. However, since French is achieving that thickness with a single ply, there is more evident pulp formation within the sheet. This means that the pressure needed to print a solid area of color is significant and results in a “salty” more textured printed appearance. That texture in large inked areas is something we like and embrace in printing with letterpress. HOWEVER, read this disclaimer before you send us art with lots of ink going down.
And letterpress printing isn’t just for small runs. Twenty thousand cards just rolled off the press. But, it is important to understand that for letterpress, each color is a separate pass through the press. This job was able to print both of these cards two-up on a press sheet. Still, these sheets had four separate passes for 3 color /one color. That’s a lil bit of printing.
These black and white wedding invitations dress up with a flashy little pink edge coloring. They were designed by the bride Laura Widmar. She incorporated both Spanish and English into each piece in the wedding suite by using the front and back sides of the cards.
We letterpress printed them on 110lb Crane Lettra Pearl White and pasted them Spanish to English after printing, making a thick 220lb cover stock. We then trimmed them to size and edge colored everything in a bright pink.
These cards were designed by Brew Creative as part of a brand upgrade for Neve, a premium ski and fashion sportswear company based in Boulder, Colorado. We letterpress printed these cards on two sides using Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 165lb cover with red and gray inks. The cards are finished in a matching red edge color.
This ephemera was designed by the folks at Shine Advertising to dress up a pocket knife mailing sent to their clients as a promotional item. You might ask if that is really letterpress? Yep, actually that’s four color process plus two spot color letterpress printed one pass at a time. That means that lil’ piece of paper went through the presses seven times. (six color passes and a letterpress matrix score) Certainly not a typical use of letterpress, but that’s why it was so fun to print it. Laying down color one at a time means a little guess work as you build the color density for the final image, but fun to watch it unfold. The process printed picture was from CSA stock images and worked pretty well to break out into plates even though it started as a heavily line screened image. The plates were printed with a 90 line per inch screen on Mohawk Loop Husk 160lb Cover.
Also be sure and check out the flash light wrap we printed for Shine last year.
Letterpress seems pretty far removed from the slickness of the iphone. Yet even the most technically focused business can benefit from the tactility of letterpress business cards. In fact, we would argue that they are the perfect counterpoint. Marko Karppinen & Co is a software developer in Finland specializing in iphone and ipad applications. We designed and printed this card for their ten person company.
The back of the card is printed with a heavy blind (inkless) letterpress impression. The front side is printed with gray ink plus accent yellow bars. A key production step to virtually eliminate show through and have heavy impression on both sides was to print two separate sheets and paste them together after printing. For this step we use Potdevin pasting and rotary presses. The pasting machine applies glue to the back of a sheet. That sheet is then paired with the sheet for the reverse side of the business card and run through the rotary press to firmly squeeze them together and eliminate any air bubbles. The stock is 110lb Neenah Classic Crest Solar White custom duplexed to a thick 220lb weight. Special finishing is a yellow edge color. A well crafted card indeed.
This is a letterpress printed invitation for a destination party, complementing a custom wedding system we printed a while back. These are also designed by the groom Scott Peiffer. The card is a thick 200lb Wausau bright white. It was printed on a cylinder press with a light blue flood of ink with a red ink mixed to match the envelope color. We printed the same red ink on the envelope flap for a tonal effect. Note the nice pop through details of the paper left white.
This invitation designed by the groom Tyler Thiessen at Neuhaus Design and illustrated by bride Jessie Turner makes their wedding invitation into a fresh art print. It is nice to see a wedding invitation that is illustration centric versus type heavy. They put all the text on the web. You can check out the couples wedding website here.
The illustration is simple with just a little overprinting of bright red and light blue inks. Most of the artwork knocks out, requiring very tight register. (like the blue dotted lines on the hot air ballon.) It is printed on Crane Lettra Flo. White 110lbC The card is like a small poster and folds up to a 5.5 x 5.5 square.
We won’t mince words, this was a hard invitation to print with letterpress. Registration was tight, and the paper does stretch with heavy impression over a solid graphic area. Plus, large areas of solid color are not ideal for letterpress. Letterpress is definitely not like screen printing these kind of solid colors. Most letterpress equipment will not be able to handle this kind of press work. We printed this one on a Heidelberg Cylinder that has the impressional strength to lay down some pressure. Chances are if you send an invitation our way with a lot of ink going down you will get an email with our handy disclaimer that goes something like this. Once all this is understood we can move to press. And as you can see, we DO print areas of solid color and it can turn out very beautiful. Just realize there WILL be variation within the job that is inherent to printing this type of work with letterpress.
Jeff at Biklops Design created these note cards and business cards for catering and event planning company Culinaria. We love the simple line work logo and are a little amazed it actually printed. It is one of those “it turned out really cool but was a pain in ass to print” kind of projects. Inking a solid like this with letterpress is one of the more difficult things to print. There is a constant struggle to maintain minimal variation in the color density. With a large solid area the press sheet warps like a ripple potato chip, making feeding the sheets in register a challenge. And keeping the fine line weight of the logo from filling in made for a fun time on press. To help with the filling in on the logo we ended up shortening the exposure of the plate, which still hardens the plate but lessens the amount of base/neck material on the edges of the printed image. So good job on the design Jeff, we can even print your curve ball.
The cards are printed letterpress on 220lb Crane Lettra Flo White 100% cotton stock. The final trimmed cards were finished with a matching light blue edge coloring accent. The text is printed after the solid so it has a sculptural impression. If the text were printed first, the solid blue on the opposite side would flatten the impression down to near nothing.
Caryn Gutterman designed this business card for photographer Scott Regan. We are suckers for letterpress printing the unique, custom and out of the ordinary. And these business cards are no ordinary cards. If Scott Regan hands you a business card, you will KNOW he’s handed you a business card. The thick stock is 60pt blotter stock. It is a little more textured on one side than the other. The texture of this stock is deep – reminds us of the finish on an egg carton, kind of raw and porous in appearance. It takes some work to print a solid letterpress, even more work on this stock. It’s not a fine surface like cotton sheets, but it’s soft and takes a nice impression which makes it attractive for letterpress. The paper just drinks up the ink and leaves paper fuzz everywhere – guess that’s why it’s a blotter stock. But the result is really beautiful. There is an uneven nature to the way the ink lays on the heavy formation of the paper. We printed the gray ink first, then the tightly registered yellow logo. The card was trimmed and edge colored in a PMS matching yellow. We like the simple modern design combined with the raw material – people will hang onto this card for sure.