Process

The Beginning

It all starts with you. Perhaps you have heard of letterpress printing and you adore quality design, but you have no idea how to achieve both. This is where I come in; this is the hopes and dreams portion of our relationship. The beginning is where you bring to me your loftiest ideas, your clearest visions, your must-haves and even your must-not-haves. Add to this a sense of your budget and the quantity you are looking for, and I can put together an outline and proposal for how we’re going to achieve this. If all is agreeable, we will then move forward and delve into what I refer to as The Fun Part of your event planning. I will create a design tailored just for you, and together, we will finalize the choices for materials and the final look, before I go to press.


Getting My Hands Dirty

Once our design is finalized and you’ve given your approval, I will then create all of the necessary plates or linoleum cuts, acquire all of our chosen paper for printing, and assemble any wood or lead type. This is where I put on my printer’s hat and go deep into the studio, mixing ink and cutting paper before I, "go on press".

Spot Color

This is a perfect example of how ink colors work with Letterpress Printing. Often referred to as, "Spot Color", each color requires a separate plate, set-up, ink, and pass on the press. Here is a progression of four different colors (so, four plates/four ink colors/four press runs): They are from left to right 1) orange 2) green 3) pale lavender  and 4) charcoal gray.

Color Matching

One of my most favorite things in the world is hand-mixing the ink. Color is one of those areas where my inner savant shines, and I love to create colors that don't necessarily live in a pantone book. If you have a specific color in mind, sending a simple swatch (fabric or paint chip) will ensure a perfect match. And I really can create the ink colors  using the Pantone Matching System (uncoated stock book, please).

The Press

Here is my first press, in action. I lovingly call her, "My Production Press", because someone added a motor in the last mid-century. I learned to print on this same press (but with a treadle that I'd operate with my foot). Built in 1871, this 143 year old Chandler & Price is my pride and joy. I also use a Vandercook Cylinder Press, which is perfect for larger-sized sheets. Both are hand-fed presses, which keeps my concentration skills sharp and my right arm buff.

Finishing Work

 If you are considering having a Calligrapher address your envelopes, I am happy to make a recommendation. I can print your return address first and then send your envelopes on their way, while I print the rest. Once I finish on press, I sort through the printed sets to make sure all are perfect and trim the paper to the exact size we want. Our Calligrapher can send the envelopes back to me when they are finished, and they can now join up with the rest of our paper goods.

Wrapping It Up

We are now finished. I have met your deadline and am ready to send the fruits of our labor to you. I am a fussy wrapper and typically send your items to you using a 2-day Delivery (unless otherwise stated) Service. Once you receive your package, we both participate in what I refer to as, "The Happy Dance". Huzzah!