Letterpress & Custom Printing FAQs

1. What is letterpress printing?
2. How is letterpress printing different than other printing?
3. What is die-cutting?
4. How many colors can be printed on one piece?
5. Can you print on envelopes?
6. What other types of printing do you offer?
7. Can you print large areas of color to the edges of the paper (full bleed)?
8. What kinds of paper can you print on? Can you print on colored paper?
9. What type of artwork is best for letterpress?
10. How do I prepare my artwork for printing?
11. How small of a font size can you print?
12. Can you print any color?
13. Can you provide a physical sample of my job before I decide to print the full quantity?
14. What is the largest image area that you can print?
15. What is the largest sheet size that you can print?
16. What is the turnaround time for a custom project?

1. What is letterpress printing?

Letterpress is a type of relief printing, meaning that a raised surface is inked and pressed onto paper. This surface can be movable metal or wood type, or a metal or polymer plate. Egg Press most often uses polymer plates. Each color has its own plate made and is a separate run through the press.

2. How is letterpress printing different than other printing?

Because it is a relief process, the plate makes a slight impression on the paper and the ink sits slightly below the surface of the paper. Digital and Offset printing have a flat layer of ink that does not leave an impression. Traditionally, a letterpress print would have a very light, "kiss" impression. At Egg Press, we love the 3d, tactile feeling of a heavier impression. We have the capabilities to print your project with whatever impression you would like!

3. What is die-cutting?

Die-cutting is a process where, instead of a plate, a metal cutting die is used on our presses to cut a part of the print into a specific shape. Die-cutting can be used to punch out a small, decorative shape out of a larger piece, or can be used to cut the entire outside edge of a print into a distinctive shape.
Below you can watch a video of the die-cutting process:

Signs and Symbols (Wedding Invitation) from Egg Press on Vimeo.

4. How many colors can be printed on one piece?

We can print as many colors as you would like, though the pricing increases with each run through the press. Most often we print one or two colors in a single job.

5. Can you print on envelopes?

Yes! We can letterpress print on envelopes and most typically we print on the envelope flap. Depending on the envelope, there may be limitations to where we can print.

6. What other types of printing do you offer?

In addition to letterpress printing and die cutting, we have the capabilities to foil stamp, blind emboss, score and edge paint.

7. Can you print large areas of color to the edges of the paper (full bleed)?

We can! However the larger the area of color, the more likely the print will be mottled with the paper showing through. When we print to the edges of the paper, we use a larger piece of paper and then trim down to the desired size.

8. What kinds of paper can you print on? Can you print on colored paper?

We can print on many different kinds of paper. We keep samples of our favorite papers in stock and are happy to mail you a few to feel in person. We can also print on colored paper. With letterpress, we don't recommend printing a lighter ink on a darker paper because the tone of the paper tends to come through the ink color. For a light image on a dark paper, we recommend foil stamping. (Foil is available in a large range of colors, from shiny to matte.)

9. What type of artwork is best for letterpress?

The best type of artwork is line art or shapes that have some space around them. Lines that are placed very close together tend to gather ink and blend together. Photographs and gradients do not work well for letterpress printing.

10. How do I prepare my artwork for printing?

All artwork for any of our printing services must be in vector format, with any tifs bitmapped. Any fonts should be outlined. Please send your artwork as a .pdf or .ai file.

11. How small of a font size can you print?

The smallest font size that we can print is 6.5 pts, and the thinnest stroke weight that we can print is .25 pts.

12. Can you print any color?

We hand-mix our inks and can print a very wide range of colors including solids, metallics, and fluorescents. We use a Solid Uncoated Pantone book as a guide to mix all of our inks. If you do not have access to a Pantone book, we are happy to match to a physical sample of something. We do not recommend matching to a computer screen because colors can look very different from one screen to the next.

13. Can you provide a physical sample of my job before I decide to print the full quantity?

Due to the time it takes to set up each color on each job, the whole quantity is printed at one time and therefore it is not feasible to print one sample. However, we will always provide a PDF digital proof for you to approve.
If you are in the Portland area, you can visit our studio for a press check. We will set your project up on the press and print just a few so that you can approve the project before it is printed in its entirety. Please contact our custom manager for details.

14. What is the largest image area that you can print?

We can print an image size of up to 9" x 12".

15. What is the largest paper size that you can print on?

This is somewhat dependent on where your imagery will be placed on the sheet. We will need to see your design to determine whether we can accommodate your sheet size.

16. What is the turnaround time for a custom project?

Once you approve your proof and you have paid a 50% deposit, the standard turnaround time is 10 business days, plus time for shipping. If you need a project sooner we can sometimes accommodate a rush job for an additional fee.

17. I have a question that wasn't answered here. Can you help?

We would be happy to answer any other questions that you have about our printing processes! Please send an email to custom@eggpress.com with your questions.

 

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