~ IT'S NOT THE 1500s ANYMORE ~
Computers work beautifully with letterpress. Just e-mail a PDF or other digital artwork file and we’ll send it back in time, converting it into a metal plate from which to produce your good old relief printing.
- Vector artwork as PDF files are preferred.
- File formats accepted include PDF, Illustrator, In Design and Quark.
- If you must supply TIF files they must be Bitmap minimum 300 dpi (600 dpi preferred).
- JPGs are for amateurs. Save them for your FB profile. We don't want them.
- Convert all type to outlines.
- Bleeds should be 1/8" (0.125")
- Select Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities box when saving PDF copy.
- E-mail any linked files along with your artwork.
- If using a halftone set line screen at 100 DPI.
Artwork files and questions should be e-mailed to this address.
~ PHONE 1-330-337-3341 TO DISCUSS ~
Creating for letterpress. Nowadays, few of our commercial projects call for hand-set type. It is up the designer to compose work well suited for the letterpress medium. This might be done using simple elegant typography that comes to life when pressed into the paper’s surface. Alternatively, a more quirky style can be used, complete with flaws and peculiarities built into the artwork that become more textural and unique with letterpress printing. The creative possibilities are unlimited from pure typography, overlapping blocks of shape and color (in real ink that is), retro, modern, whimsical, gritty or hand drawn styles are just a few to consider. Think of the printing process as a technique that will add to your final design execution. For more design ideas and letterpress instruction browse our Letterpress Trade School section.
Preparing your artwork. Line art (vector) is best suited for letterpress. Adobe Illustrator is ideal for creating artwork. You can separate each color plate onto individual layers, specify your ink colors with the Pantone Solid Uncoated Swatch Library and arrange the color layers in the same order you would like the project printed.
Visualize the finished product. While designing, get a feel on-screen for how overlapping printed colors will look by setting the Blending Mode to Multiply in the Transparency Palette. You can also play with the Opacity level to help decide whether you want a lighter ‘kiss’ impression or heavier impression.
Scanning illustrations and artwork. If using hand-drawn art or other images being scanned remember that relief metal plates are going to be made from your artwork so images must be converted to line art. Scanned images must be supplied a minimum of 300 DPI at 100% in size. Higher resolution up to 600 DPI is preferable. Image files should be converted to Bitmap Mode. Any subtle tonal variations that are in your original artwork will not show up once converted to bitmap. Keep in mind though that the letterpress printing process creates its own subtle tonal variations throughout the run which adds interest back into the art.
Halftone images. Old-school single color halftones can be produced for an additional charge. If you are considering using a halftone keep in mind that they must be 100 DPI or coarser and are most likely running on uncoated paper that will not give a fine print reproduction. Letterpress halftones are most successful when the designer wants a heavy dot newspaper-like or distressed old look.