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Letterpress Printing

What is a suitable paper grammage for print?
For letterpress we recommend a slightly thicker stock in order to hold decent impressions. 300gsm and beyond works excellent on our letterpress machines. Whereas 300gsm is the maximum paper grammage for our offset and digital printers.

Can I print on dark coloured papers?
Yes you can, but it may not turn out as what you’d expect. We do not recommend printing white on dark papers, as white ink will not be solid white after pressing. Alternatively, if you are looking for a solid white on dark colored papers, we would suggest white foil to avoid such issue.

Can I print lots of colors?
Yes you can. Letterpress is done one color at a time, we can do as many colors as you want, but it does get expensive as each color needs to be plated, set up, printed and washed up separately.

What is a blind deboss?
A blind deboss is pressing without ink. It is a subtle way to add texture to your card without color. Generally we do not recommend blind deboss for small text information or on colored paper stocks.

Can I use my own paper?
Yes you can. But not all papers are suitable for letterpress printing, so do let us know what is your intended paper stock and we will advise you on it’s feasibility.

Can you print a specific color?
Yes you can. We mix all our colors from scratch, so do provide us with a color reference – in hardcopy or a pantone code.

Additional Note on Printing Solid Areas

Large solid areas do not offer impression
Solid areas of color or color floods do not generally make use of the sculptural impression possible with letterpress printing. Text, line work and pattern represent ideal artwork while graphic elements or text reversing out of solid areas do not. Knocked out artwork will not create much, if any, noticeable impression into the paper.

Large areas of impression cause sheet distortion
Letterpress with heavy impression is physically altering the thickness of paper. With large areas of artwork under heavy impression, the sheet may want to bubble or curl. We sometimes call this the “potato chip” effect. The more artwork area on a press sheet, the less likely it is that the final printed piece will lay completely flat.

Solid areas may appear ‘salty’
It may be necessary to print with less ink density in solid areas of ink in order to keep fine details in your artwork crisp. We call the resulting mottled ink appearance “saltiness”. Depending on the color you have specified in combination with the paper, there may be more or less saltiness in the final printed pieces. Darker colors on a toothy cotton stock demonstrate the most salty appearance and light colors on a smooth stock demonstrate a less salty appearance.

Solid areas of color are not ideal for letterpress
Solid color is difficult to control and there will be some color variation throughout the run. Some pieces may have darker ink density, some may have lighter density. We keep a sharp eye on consistency while printing, but color on letterpress is added and controlled manually.