No. We will print as few or as many as you want. However, the costs of setting up each color on press are the same whether you have us print one or two hundred (or two thousand). The more you print, the cheaper it is on a per piece basis.
We prefer native Illustrator or InDesign files, although PDFs produced in other programs can work. Please review the following notes on file preparation.
Please note: We may not be able to get a clean printing plate from pixel-based images or type. Vector artwork is always preferred! If you are uncertain whether pixel-based artwork will work, please provide vector art instead.
- Please specify colors as spot colors in the file, either Pantone or any other color system. This allows us to output your file as separations in the intended colors — if your colors are CMYK values, the file can only be separated into C-M-Y and K.
- Please convert fonts to outlines, or else provide the font files with the art file.
- If you have multiple items in a single document, please define the separate pieces with either crop marks, keylines or by using multiple artboards.
- Any placed graphics should be high-resolution (600 dpi) bitmap TIFFs, or else turned to vectors. All type/fonts should be vectors.
- Files must clearly show placement and sizing of artwork. If you need us to size or place the artwork within the document, design/layout time will be charged at $100/hour with a half-hour minimum.
We are always happy to look at files and give technical feedback if you have any doubts that the art is set up correctly.
Turnaround is typically around two weeks from receipt of final art, specs and a deposit. Occasionally, during busy seasons, the turnaround can sometimes be longer. Please let us know what your turnaround requirements are when requesting an estimate. We can sometimes offer rush printing for an additional fee.
You may provide paper if you wish, but we will generally need to see the paper before approving. We print on uncoated papers only. Also, please contact us prior to ordering any paper! We will need to let you know how much paper we need for your job, and what size. We require a certain amount of “overage” (extra paper0 for each job to allow for spoils and setting up the press. We also need a specific amount of space around your image in order to feed the sheet through our presses.
Yes, we can die cut cards with rounded corners. This requires a separate pass through the press for the cutting, and incurs an additional charge. We have some rounded corner dies on hand in standard sizes, and if needed, custom dies can be made within a couple days.
Many drawings translate very nicely to the letterpress print process; ink drawings and pencil drawings where tones are made using line work (as opposed to washes or shading) are the most successful. If you send a scan or photograph of the drawing we are happy to advise on the relative printability of your image, and can digitize if needed as part of our custom design services.
Our plates can hold very fine, small type. As typefaces can vary in size, it’s impossible to name a minimum point size. If you feel you might be pushing the limits, please send a pdf and we’ll let you know if it works. The biggest issue around very small type is whether it is placed with larger, heavier elements in the design. It is difficult to keep fine type and other detailed linework clean and crisp when it is placed next to something that requires a lot more ink to look good.
Double-sided printing is possible. However, it can be problematic with letterpress because of the show-through of the impression. We can control how hard the type is impressed into the paper, but the paper is squeezed between the plate and the tympan, so any pressure applied to one side inevitably affects the other. In general, double-sided should work with artwork that has light coverage where the elements don’t back each other up precisely. Otherwise, compromises need to be made to balance the amount of impression with the amount it shows through on the other side. Using heavier papers, or duplexing two papers together, can help, but doesn’t completely solve the problem.
Yes, with our in-house foil stamping machine we can print opaque white and other light colors on black (or any color) paper! Unlike foil pigments, letterpress inks are translucent, so light color inks don’t show up well on dark or saturated-color stocks, though some letterpress inks like silver can work on some paper stocks (we can show you some samples or set up a press check to confirm the best option for your project).
Yes, with our in-house foil stamping machine we can print with shiny, metallic foils. We can also letterpress print with metallic inks, but they do not have the same level of metallic sheen that you see when foil stamping. With the letterpress process, printed on the softer and more absorbent papers that we use, the metallic effect is diminished. In a larger solid area, and with lighter impression, you will get some metallic sheen, but in small type, the metallic effect will not really be perceptible and will almost always read as a flat color.
Absolutely! We love creating custom designs. We get to know you & work with you one-on-one to craft your ideal aesthetic. Through 3 rounds of proofing, we’ll tailor your design to perfection.
We also offer a catalog of customizeable designs which you can order as-pictured or use as a jumping-off point for a custom suite.
Great question! Check out our onesheet describing the custom design process here!
A great first step is to call or email us to schedule a complimentary consultation. We like to begin by discussing your project, your needs, and your ideas via email, on the phone or in person at your convenience.
If you’re interested in one of our customizeable designs, you can actually order it directly from our Shopify store, as well as ordering samples and just browsing for ideas and to get a sense for our pricing.
- Yourself, and, if you desire, your fellow stationery aficionados. Could be your mate, people of honor / best people, or moms and dads. We can’t wait to meet all of you and talk paper!
- If you have colors you would like to match, bring swatches (a piece of fabric, for example) so we can compare with our ink collection or match to a specific Pantone.
- Notes on your timeline and budget
- Any design inspiration you’ve gathered from the web, magazines, photos, nature, etc. that will help us hone in on your personal aesthetic. If you’ve done any sketches it would of course be important for us to see those as well!
Absolutely! While we focus on being the best local source for letterpress printing, we’re also thrilled to see our work travel around the country. Communicating through telephone, email or Skype can be almost as good as working face to face. We can even mail samples when necessary, and are happy to receive color swatches in the mail. You might want to plan a little extra time into the process when working from afar.
We live for this! We excel in creative problem-solving & truly hand-tailored designs.
We believe the process of letterpress is inherently green & take measures to lessen our environmental footprint whenever possible by :
- Although most invitations are printed from recyclable polymer plates, we love to print from hand-set type using our collection of vintage lead and wood type, which is reusable, not disposable.
- Printing primarily on tree-free all-cotton paper. Read what Crane Paper has to say about the sources for cotton paper fiber here.
- Sourcing other high-quality commercial papers that come from FSC certified forests.
- Stocking several recycled papers with high post-consumer content.
- Using soy-based inks and our solvents are low- or zero-VOC.
- We have a local paper maker create recycled cotton letterpress paper from our offcuts, which you can request for your invitations. This is the greenest paper we know of — and handmade paper is one of the only recycled papers that is more beautiful than the paper it was made from.
You’ve come to the right place! In our consultation we get to know you, hear about your needs and influences, and work with you one-on-one to craft your ideal aesthetic. Through 3 rounds of proofing, we’ll tailor your design to perfection.
Yes! You can browse our design collection here, and we continuously update with new designs.
Color-matching is our specialty! We can match a swatch of fabric, paint chip, or other color inspiration, or work with the traditional Pantone ink color palette. If color matches are crucial, we will ask you to come in for a press check to assure that it is exactly the way you want it before we print it.
Due to the extensive set up each time we print, all proofs are emailed to you as PDFs. If you are ordering one of our customizeable designs, you can purchase a sample of a previously printed version of that design (without your customizations). If you’re local, we highly recommend a press check, both because it is exciting to see your pieces go on press and to ensure they’re exactly what you want.
While we have an astute eye for detail, our focus will be on getting your design just right. It is your responsibility to carefully review your proofs for errors, including spelling, layout, color assignments, dates and times, accuracy of directions, etc. Please be sure to cross your t’s, dot your i’s and very thoroughly read your final proof. Have a friend or loved one lend an eye as well! It’s easiest to spot errors when you haven’t seen the design before. Once you give your final approval, any errors are corrected at your expense.
That’s called blind debossing and we love it! The deboss is a distinguishing feature of letterpress printing. A blind deboss prints your artwork without ink (or sometimes with transparent ink, which is not truly blind but almost the same effect) so it leaves a subtle, yet tangible impression in the paper. The effect is more successful with some graphics/typefaces/papers than others, so please consult with us if you would like to use this particular technique.
Letterpress printing is the original printing technology, and is done by inking a raised (relief) surface and pressing it into the paper. This produces a debossed indent in the paper as a side effect of applying the ink, which is unique to this printing process. Foil stamping is a letterpress process that uses heat to fuse metallic foil to paper, instead of ink. Digital printing, also sometimes known as flat printing, is a high quality type of inkjet printing. While it has limitations in the type of paper it can print on and color matching, it is very flexible in the kinds of imagery it can print (photos and reproductions of watercolor or drawing are not a problem, unlike letterpress printing). It is also relatively inexpensive at small quantities, compared to traditional printing processes.
Typically, you want your invitations in the post 6 – 8 weeks before the big day. For Save the Dates, the recommended window for mailing is 6-12 months before the event.
Rush orders are accepted based on availability and the requirements of the project and may entail rush fees of 15-50% depending on circumstances. Please call to discuss specifics.
The standard practice is for your suites to arrive unassembled. However, we do offer assembly for an additional fee; this involves ordering postage for your RSVP return envelopes, and if we are stuffing the suites into the outer envelopes, we will also need to handle the addressing of your envelopes (we offer digital addressing, casual calligraphy/handlettering, and formal calligraphy). Because every suite is different, and everyones needs are diferent, we have to handle the pricing for assembly on a case-by-case basis.
Yes. We offer in-house modern calligraphy/handlettering, and digital envelope addressing with a trusted local digital partner. We also contract with a number of local calligraphers who specialize in various formal styles.
Yes, we require a 50% deposit before we begin work (designing and/or printing. Final payment due upon delivery of your completed suite.