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DESIGNING FOR LETTERPRESS
& classic printing techniques
Letterpress printing is very distinct to other printing techinques so we recommend you follow this guide to help achieve the best results :
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1 FONTS / TYPOGRAPHY
1 - Set your fonts no smaller than 5pt to compensate for ink absorption.
2 - Convert all your text into outlines ( Curves ) and increase tracking to at least +5 to compensate for printing impression ( Depth into paper )
3 - Reverse type set on solid colour should no be smaller than 12pt. to prevent the type from being clogged with ink. Add a small stroke to compensate from ink gain.
We are glad to attempt to match special colours but we don't guarantee perfect matches. Pantone and other custom colours are available, for additional charge. We generally have to order a one-pound minimum of custom colours which is relatively expensive and it must be paid in full by the client.
3 LARGE SOLIDS
1 - Use fills sparingly this way features & depth are best appreciated.
2 - Do no flood the entire page with large solid areas of colours as it will reduce the depth of impressions and colours will print mottled . However if you do need to print large areas additional print runs and printing fees may be necesary.
4 LINE WEIGHT
Lines and Strokes should be set at 0.35 or thicker. If it is an isolated line please use minumn a 0.5pt thickness.
5 WHITE ON DARK STOCKS
It is not possible to do so as the paper colour will show through the light coloured inks. The closest to this effect is to use a light silver coloured ink.
And additional fee is applicable for printing artwork including a continuous border within 5mm parallel to the edge of your finished piece. The is reason is that letterpress cotton papers are extremely sof and therefore difficult to cut straight in large volumes. When we cut pieces down to finished size, there is a big risk an exagerated wastage associated with imperfect cuts caused by soft slipping cottong paper.
7 DIES & SCORES
Dies should be indicated with a 1pt magenta colour and scores with a 1pt cyan colour.
8 BLEED & CROP MARKS
Set bleed for all elements at 5mm and export with crop marks. Please export your PDF with 0.5pt stroke weight crop marks and 6mm of bleed.
Bare in mind that for letterpress purposes 2 sided printing its always tricky... You must know any area that has been printed ( pressed ) on one side may be slightly or significantly unpressed when we print on the oposite side... It will all depend on the size and thickness of the graphics. Our suggestion is to try to place your logo ( for instance on a business card) on the right side when facing the card and the text on the left side when facig the card.
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