FAQs

As D&D is literally just that, Doug & Danika, we work hard to not only print beautiful letterpress pieces but also custom price and quote on your stationery needs. We’ve found over time that quite a few questions continue to pop up, and rather than you having to hold out for a day or so to have your questions answered, we’ve compiled a list of some frequently asked questions to speed up the process. If there is anything not mentioned below that leaves your questions unanswered let us know via our contact form or via our quote form and we’ll be sure to answer them promptly.

Turn-around time

Our turn around time for printing is 12-15 business days. If we are designing your project it usually takes an additional 5-10 business days. If you require your project sooner however, we’d be happy to discuss your requirements and see what we can do. We have a few express options available.

How to determine the number of colours

When we quote we always indicate how many colours the price includes, this can sometimes get a little confusing as for instance, printing a blind impression with no ink is still considered a colour. When we indicate colours we are actually indicating how many times your piece will run through the printing press. For instance,  a business card with red & black on the front and black on the back will be put through the press three times therefore being considered as a three colour job. An invitation with grey, blue and a blind impression all on one side would also be considered as a three colour job.  

Costs involved in letterpress

Letterpress is a time and labour intensive craft that requires great attention to detail. Printing a letterpress project requires printing plates to be made, ink to be hand mixed and then time to get the press set up just right. And this is all before we’ve even taken a print! Therefore as a rough indicator the minimum cost of any letterpress project starts at $250.

Price lists

As we’re a custom letterpress studio, each job differs from the next. That said we have created some pricing based on popular wedding packages we’ve printed to help give you an idea of costs involved. We can provide this to you via email on request. Otherwise, If you let us know your requirements via our quote form we’ll get back to you with a custom quote as soon as possible.

A note on impression

Letterpress has become known for its ability to leave a beautiful deep impression on paper. The amount of impression that is achievable depends on a range of factors from the paper stock used to the composition of the design. Large fills & large solids are something that letterpress doesn’t always handle amazingly. When I explain this to people I try and use the analogy of a narrow snowboard on powder snow vs a fat snowboard (yes it’s a pastime of ours).  The fatter the snowboard the higher it will sit on the surface versus a narrow board which will sink down into the soft snow. The same happens with letterpress printing plates on soft cotton paper. A printing plate with large solids will limit the amount of impression into the paper as the surface area limits the pressure the printing press can excerpt, this means as much as we push the printing press (which is sometimes almost to breaking point) you will not achieve that nice deep impression you see on examples with fine type.

Embossing vs Impression

People often refer to the imprint letterpress leaves in the paper as an emboss, however technically an emboss is raised up from the page whereas traditional letterpress printing leaves what is called an impression in the page or what some may call a ‘deboss’. At D&d we can achieve both techniques. We just thought we’d clear that up for you!

Large solids & Colour floods

 When creating artwork with large areas of a colour it is worth being aware that letterpress struggles to achieve a nice, even, consistent coverage. Because of a number of factors when printing a large coverage of ink the outcome will be a mottled effect which some other letterpress studios call a ‘salty’ appearance. We think it looks beautiful and an effect that sets letterpress apart from other types of printing but sometime may not be a desired result. If you have any concerns about your artwork let us know.

Another thing to note about large solid areas is that they can sometimes distort the paper/card that they have been printed on. This can result in the card not being dead flat. It’s not something that is easily predicted as there are a few factors that affect this but its worth being aware.

File Setup

 To allow us to quickly get your files made into printing plates and to eliminate any additional charges due to us having to tweak your files these steps below should allow things to run quickly and efficiently for both you and us.

  • The ideal file format we work with is a PDF that has been outputted from a vector based design package such as Adobe Illustrator or InDesign.
  • Any large solids in your artwork? See section above about printing large solids with letterpress.
  • Convert all your fonts to outline (here’s a video if you’re not sure)
  • When outputting the file, exporting with .25pt trims, 3mm bleed is ideal
  • Make sure all line work has a stroke weight no smaller than .25pt.
  • Make sure that you’re only using solid Pantone Uncoated Spot colours in your artwork. We’ll convert any unspecified CMYK colours to the closest Pantone match
  • If there is any custom cutting required indicate this with a magenta spot colour on a separate design layer
  • For blind impression, indicate this with a cyan spot colour
  • If any of the above is a bit confusing let us know and we can run you through it.

Paper Stocks

Letterpress is best suited to soft, fluffy uncoated paper stocks so 100% cotton rag is ideal. We have a vast range of paper stocks available to suit certain styles and budgets, and are always on the look out for new stocks to experiment with and introduce to our range of offerings. Letterpress is all about the tactile quality of the image or letterform into the paper so we are more than happy to send you samples of any paper samples you may be interested in.

Crane Lettra – Tree free 100% cotton rag paper | Weights: 300gsm, 600gsm | Colours: Pearl White & Fluoro White
Made in America, this luxurious paper is specifically designed for letterpress printing. The cotton fibers aren’t compressed, so the sheet feels soft & fluffy. It comes in two thicknesses offering versatility within your package.

Gmund Cotton – 100% cotton paper | Weights: 300gsm, 500gsm, 600gsm | Colours: Linen Cream & Max White
Made in Germany, Gmund is also engineered for letterpress printing. Ideal for both weddings and business cards.

Cordenon Wild – Semi-Cotton paper | Weights: 150gsm, 300gsm, 450gsm, 600gsm, 850gsm | Colour: Warm White
Made in Italy, Wild was designed to offer an affordable letterpress paper to the market. FSC Certified, it is a blend of 35% cotton fibers and 65% virgin pulp.

Coaster Board – Wood Pulp | Weights: 390gsm | Colour: Natural White
This is our most cost effective stock for letterpress printing that can take impression remarkably well for a wood pulp paper.

Buffalo Board – Wood Pulp | Weights: 320gsm, 386gsm | Colour: Natural Brown/kraft
This carbon neutral paper is made from natural kraft fibres that are fully recycable. This is the paper to use if your design requires an earthy feel.

Box Board – 100% post consumer waste | Weights: 350gsm, 430gsm, 600gsm | Colour: Natural Grey
An economically priced board made from 100% post consumer waste. This is another paper option to look at if you’re after that krafty edge.

Colorplan – Wood Pulp | Weights: 270gsm, 350gsm, 540gsm, 700gsm | Colours: Large assortments of colours
Made in the UK, this versatile paper works amazingly well with letterpress for both business cards and wedding invitations. It has a nice, subtle texture and with a large amount of stock colours to choose from can add amazing impact to your stationery.

Custom Shapes

Not only do our printing presses print beautifully they also can also die-cut almost any shape. Contact us for a quote.

Edge Painting

Edge painting adds that little extra bit of zhush on business cards or invitations. We have a large range of colours available which we can closely match to your selected pantone colours.

Personalising

Due to the setup involved with letterpress we are unable to letterpress print individual guest names on invitations but we are able to offer digitally printed names onto the invitations or envelopes. We can also offer calligraphy to personalise invitations and envelopes. 

Can we visit?

Being a busy studio we recommend organising an appointment. We find that sending samples and organising a phone/skype meeting is sometimes more convenient for you as we can do this after business hours and on weekends.

Proofs

We provide digital proofs of your design for approval before any custom projects go to print. As there is a lot of preparation involved in getting the printing plates made, inks mixed and printing press set correctly, we are unable to provide letterpress proofs of your project. We can however provide samples of previous print work.  

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