Step No. 1

Design

It all starts on a screen. Fortunately the letterpress printing process has evolved greatly since the era of moveable type and we no longer have to rely on hand setting wood and metal type. Designers can now take digitally created vector based images and save them as a .pdf or .ai file so that we can create plastic or metal plates on our end and put them in our printing presses. 

Step No. 2

Plates

Our shop primarily uses photopolymer plates to print with. It’s a UV light sensitive plastic material that is exposed to light and hardened to create a “raised” or relief printing plate. The raised artwork on the plate is what allows for the deboss into the paper to achieve that beautiful impression.  The plate is then mounted to an aluminum base and put in the press for printing. 

Step No. 3

Ink

Whether you are screen or letterpress printing, each process involves mixing ink to lay down on the paper. We can mix any Pantone in the book and the book we use is the Pantone Solid Uncoated color book. The printing processes we use involve laying the ink down one color at a time. Each time a new color is added we have to clean the press and swap out a new plate and set up the next pass. For more cost effective or budget friendly designs we recommend sticking to one or two colors. 

Step No. 4

Print

Once the artwork is received, plates are made, ink is mixed and the press is set up for the first pass, we begin! We use several different types of presses, Heidelberg Windmills are what we use for the bulk of our letterpress jobs and we also have a semi-automatic screen printing press for printing small and large format prints. Although they are efficient they are still slower than most modern digital and offset presses you see today. That’s the beauty of what we do, this process is very hands on and methodical. 

Step No. 5

Boxed

When the last print comes off the press and the job is finished, we usually take the job to the paper cutter for a final trim for nice clean edges and the job is packaged for pick-up or delivery to the customer. This is where things really get fun, when the customer get’s to introduce their artwork to the world. Whether it’s a business card, a wedding invitation, a poster, a coffee bag or whatever you can imagine, we are happy to make your print dreams come true.