What to expect…

5 articles in category What to expect… / Subscribe
Wes Joyce

i love the pattern on these, so clever! Letterpress printed with reflex blue and black ink on 220# bright white lettra paper. Something to note when printing a pattern is ink coverage and detail of pattern. Like a flood print, a large pattern area requires more ink than simple imagery or type. For good coverage and saturation you need to be aware of the amount of tint base (transparent white) in your color mix as well as how heavily inked the press is. Sometimes a large pattern can be more tricky to print because it has fine line work requiring sparse inkage to keep from flooding and filling in, however there is also the area consideration. Too little of ink and you will lose saturation.

This pattern worked well because the typography and pattern were similar in sizing as well as weight. We were able to get consistent coverage and avoid over inking quite well. Stay tuned for other patterns we’ve printed. More to come this week!

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These letterpress business cards were printed for Bespoke Home out of Palo Alto, Caliornia. We actually did two runs of this card – the first on 110# lettra which didn’t yield great saturation or color results. So we went back on press with a second printing of these on a duplexed Mohawk Superfine (we duplexed their 120 and 160# paper together to get an ultra thick cover stock). This was our first opportunity to print on the Mohawk, and while it does not take a really pillowy impression like the cotton and mouldemade papers we carry in-house, it does get very beautiful ink coverage and saturation with barely any ink. I was quite impressed buy the smooth nature of a hot-pressed paper and how it could print so differently from a cotton alternative. If Mohawk made a 220# weight paper I might just have to add it as one of our house stocks because the color is so silky smooth. What do you think? Should I petition to a heavyweight Mohawk paper or leave it be?

In the end, these cards were ganged up for each of the three business partners as well as a forth generic card for Bespoke Home. By ganging up different card designs on the same plate, you can change things up without a significant increase in price. The reason being that if the contet just changes and the press colors remain the same then we can plate these all together as well as run them on the same run. If you see interested in more detailed info about how to prep your files for a ganged up plate you can always email us at info {at} dingbatpress.com and we would be happy to walk you through the steps!

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 …

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Picking up with the What to expect series today we’ll be discussing large coverage areas and floods.  Below is a business card design by Vanessa of NESS Design. It is a 2/1 letterpress business card printed on 220# paper. Vanessa’s cards got a really great ink coverage because of a few things. Her knocked out type was built up with extra stroke wight so that we could flood the press with a LOT of ink and by the time the letters started to fill in they were back to their “normal” weights. Serifed typography is a lot harder to work with and isn’t recommend (especially when small). If you want to knock out of a flood color area (knock-out meaning that the type is white or image area is white with ink surrounding it) then stick to imagery or typography that can …

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Lately I’ve been feeling like, as much as we try to educate regarding process, printing technique, papers and ink there is always going to be something unexpected about the letterpress process that is sometimes hard to know what the client is aware of and what they aren’t aware of. This is a new series dedicated to the nuances of different techniques in the printing industry – while I feel like we know what we are doing around here, every printer has their own way of printing a piece. While one design may work for one printer, it might not work for another. Things that can factor in that decision to print or not to print a specific design could be anything from press equipment, finishing equipment, labor, deadline, time, bookings, and more. In addition to design and press work, there is paper …

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