These letterpress business cards were designed by the client and were a fun project to work on. I LOVE die-cuts! Below is a great example of a flood print. In our artwork approval (your contract that you sign before we head to press) it outlines a few variables that are important with letterpress printing to note. One is color variation between prints. On our presses we print and re-ink between every 25 impressions on floods. This helps keep color consistent, however it can still be tricky. While we strive for perfect consistency, our product is part of an antique printing process. Unlike offset presses, our presses do not have digital inking fountains so all our print runs are done by comparison. Here is a sample “fan” of Elliott’s cards that we felt were a match to his pantone specification, and shows slight variety but still is consistent.
Another letterpress technique to note is the reverse typography in Elliott’s flood. When reversing type out it shows a much better reverse impression is the image area to be knocked out is larger or more marginal. While there is a dominant and subordinate print side to all double-sided cards, you can still feel the impression because this typography is not too small.
We’ve also noticed that with the use of the alpha-cellulose composition of the Arturo paper, it gets a MUCH better flood coverage than the lettra. I’m not sure the exact scientific reasoning behind this but I imagine it has something to do with the porous nature of the cotton lettra vs. the arturo and the fiber content of the lettra. From what I believe, the lettra has more “glue” making it not as responsive to rubberbase inks, thus the transparency and “salty” look are more prominent in comparison to the same flood on an Arturo paper.
With that all taken into consideration, we still love printing on both the lettra as well as the Arturo but depending on the paper selection, you can come out with variables no matter how the process is tackled.