Our vintage presses have certain capabillities so it's always good to understand what these beasties can and can't do and what they do really really well. Letterpress was originally used to print text, relief woodblocks illustrations and engravings, so line and type are going to be where it's at. The tips below are a good general guideline for putting together a design to print on our press in our studio.
DESIGNING FOR LETTERPRESS
Linework at 0.5pt and above.
Fonts at 8pt (we can print smaller but it really depends on the font, let's see your design first).
Our press prints up to A4.
Solid areas of colour can produce "saltiness" or patchy coverage. Sometimes this looks great but just be warned it can be unpredictable and irregular, maybe chat to us first.
Letterpress steers away from tone and photographic images BUT it's not impossible - just send an image through first - it all depends.
Double sided designs - are they possible? Yes they are! But submit your design first and we can make sure your design (and paper choice) is perfect for it.
When choosing colours, we work with spot colours from the solid uncoated colour book in the Pantone Matching System. We don't use CMYK or RGB.
We prefer files submitted as Illustrator files or PDF’s. Please make sure that the artwork can be easily accessed in case changes need to be made this end.
PDF's can be submitted as black and white "positives" (the way you want them to print) - please contact the studio for information on artwork set up re: crop marks, bleeds and trims. Most of the time we are able to adjust many of these small requirements inhouse and if we have any recommendations for changing the design so that it is "letterpress friendly" we'll contact you directly to discuss the recommended changes.