FAQs

How should I send you files?

If your not able to bring them by in person, then via email works as well. Please email us files under 10MB, and for larger files, you can send us a dropbox link, or we can send you our link from hightail.

What type of files can I send?

We accept PDF files from Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Indesign files for production. In your file All typefaces must be converted to outlines or paths (outlining type makes it un-editable). Non vector images must be provided as a BITMAP TIF at 100% size with a minimum of 800 dpi. (1200 dpi is recommended) Any bitmap TIF images should be embedded. Multiple color files should have layers for each color, and idicate a knockout, or overprint. Files ready for press should be 100% CMYK black, please submit a color comp or layer of intended design with spot colors. ( example 1 file is 100% black with separations additional file or layer with color orientations) See more on file setup page here

Can you print full- color design files?

For letterpress no, all colors must be specified using the Pantone Matching System (spot colors), and since we use uncoated papers the Solid Uncoated Color Palette is used.  If you have a full color project it is printed locally and then finished with foil or a deboss. CMYK or RGB values will not suffice as printable spot colors.

Why do you ask for layered files?

We need files that we can easily break apart and gang up together for plate making. And importantly, with multiple color files we want to make sure that our clients have thought through any areas that their colors come in contact with each other. It should be clear in your file if you intend to knockout or overprint colors. (we recommend using the “multiple” filter to get on on screen indication of overprinting color results)

How do you match my color?

We print using Solid UNCOATED Pantone inks, which can appear dramatically different on screen, please be sure to view a physical Pantone swatch book when selecting your colors. If you are unable to access a Solid Uncoated Pantone swatch book you may mail us a physical sample of the color (fabric, paper, etc) to match to. Though our final print colors(PMS) will not match your on-screen preview RGB.

Can I specify a Coated Pantone color?

No, since we print on uncoated stocks, any inks we print will achieve an uncoated appearance. We do not match other swatch types such as COATED, PROCESS or RGB.  You must use UNCOATED Pantone colors.

What is the smallest type size you can print?

First and foremost, we advise clients to print a mock up of their design at 100% size. Adjust it so it is comfortable to you and your client. We can easily print a small 2pt type size , but can anyone really read that size? Also, add some tracking value to your type. It depends on the typeface, but we recommend a tracking value of 50-75 to help keep letterpress type looking crisp.

Can you print photos?

We can print a line screened, halftone style photo. Think about a grayscale newspaper image – that is the effect we will print. We typically print an image with anywhere from 50-100 line halftone screens. We push the values in the image to land mostly between 20 and 80 percent. More than 80% starts can start to fill with ink, and less than 20% may risk washing away in the plating process. Halftone images can be a challenge to ink up on letterpress and require a robust inking system with lots of pressure.

How should I indicated finishing processes in my file?

Finishing processes that are additional to any letterpress printing such as die cutting, scoring, perforations or edge painting. Should have their own layer in your design file.

Will I see a proof?

We email you an electronic PDF proof that is used to display your print.  It lists all of your specs paper type, color swatches, design elements and any special finishing. We will only begin printing once you have checked this document carefully and given us written approval to proceed. (usually email will suffice). We do not do in studio press checks. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR YOU AND YOUR CLIENT TO CHECK BEFORE APPROVAL.

How quickly do you prepare a PDF proof?

Usually one business day if files are provided from client. For custom design 3-5 business days, add and additional 3+ for illustration. If there is a problem with your files, we will contact you and give you the option to correct them or have us fix them with additional pre press cost.

What if I have a change after I’ve approved a proof?

Contact us right away, and we will see what stage in production we have reached. In the unfortunate case, a full cost reprint. May be subject to full cost of reprint AND or other applicable fees.

This is never happy news, and it does happen. Contact us right away to see what stage of production your project has reached. Changes made after approval of a file may be subject to full cost of reprint. Upon confirmation your project does proceed to production, film and plates are made, stock is ordered and cut, presses roll. There is little if any savings for us to reprint your job.

What if I have a change after they have been printed?

This full cost reprint, production pieces maybe reused or salvaged for savings.

Can you print posters and what is the largest size?

Yes, the largest sheet size is 10″x 15″ with a 9″x12″ printable area. Please contact us directly for larger size options.

Edge of paper margin?

If you are not intending for a bleed, the space from edge of paper to the design element such as a border should be 1/8″ (.125″) from trim area.

What is the smallest type size you can print?

5-7pt depending on the typestyle. Serifs on anything smaller than 7 may be not work. San serif type is best for smaller. If its hard to read from a laser printer chances are we will achieve the same legibility.

What is your printable area?

For letterpress ink 9″x 12″ ( including crop marks) is the largest printable area.

For hot foil press 8″x9″( including crop marks) is the largest printable area.

Please inquire about larger sizes directly.

What is your maximum ink coverage?

The largest flood area recommended for ink is 4″x6″. Larger areas will be distressed, because of the nature of letterpress printing.

Can you Diecut shapes?

Yes we have standard cuts such as rounded corners. Custom Dies laser dies can be made, please indicate your die-cutting requirements in your file. Using line-work on a layer.

What is a Die Cut?

A steel rule knife cuts shapes out of the paper stock. The knife can include scoring rules for folds. The cutting die is locked in the press and the paper is fed through the press and cut out. This is the last cut and final shape in the production process.

Can I edge paint my die cut peices?

No, after die cutting the paper edges are not clean enough to do quality edge painting

What does die cost?

Costs on die cutting are very subject to complexity. We need to see a digitally provided die line in order to price any die cutting and assembly costsWhat is a perforation?

What kind of paper do you use?

Since most of our clients prefer a deep impression, our preference is a cotton stock. We can print on a variety of uncoated papers. Our house papers are perfect for letterpress printing and impression.We can order a wide variety of papers. Our house stocks they are:

Cranes lettra 110lb+ 220lb Cover Ecru(cream), Pearl white(off white), Florescent white( bright white)

10olb Cover Mohawk superfine (White, Ultra white)

100lb 100% Recycled Chipboard (Brown)

100lb Black French paper

100lb Cover Neenah Desert Storm

70lb Text Cranes lettra (Ecru(cream), Pearl white(off white), Florescent white( bright white)

What is Duplexing?

Glueing sheets of paper together

How thick of stock can you print?

220lb is typical “thick stock”

Max 330lb or 35pt

What type of paper can you print on?

Mainly Uncoated papers, that are thicker to stocks are preferable

Can you print on glossy paper?

Not for letterpress, Foil is possible. We have to review it.

Can I bring in my own paper?

Depends, it must be flat, and have 1″ margin on all sides from printed area. You must also have enough for waste and it must be uncoated. Please call to make sure before bringing it in.

What Colors of foil do you carry?

We carry a variety of colors in stock. Custom foil colors are readily available in a wide variety of colors and finishes.

Can you letterpress and foil press the same sheet?

Yes, registration for the foil may be slightly altered due to the expansion of design when heated.

How large of an area can you foil?

Printable area 8″x9″

Can you tight register colors with foil?

Areas of tight registration may be altered due to heat plate expansion, opening up smaller details is recommend.

Do Solid Colors print well?

Solid areas of color or “floods” are not ideal for letterpress, and may appear distressed. The Large solid does not offer any impression. Large areas of impression may cause sheet distortion.

How do you match color?

We reference the Pantone Solid UNCOATED color Palette, all of our inks our hand mixed and checked on press. Paper colors and tints may vary and effect final results as inks are transparent.

Can you print Glossy ink?

No, a glossy ink sheen will not be achieved with letterpress on uncoated papers. For glossy elements we recommend a using hot foil

Are metallic inks shiny?

Metallic letterpress inks tend have a slight sheen, but more dull than shiny. For a shiny print we recommend a metallic hot foil.

What type of ink do you use?

We use soy-based inks for most projects. We hand mix small amounts specific for each project reducing waste.

Can you print white ink on black paper?

Yes, but it may not turn out how you expect. WE DO NOT TYPICALLY PRINT WHITE INK ON DARK PAPER. White ink does not turn out bright white and light colors will not print lighter than the stock color they are printing on. Since white ink and light colored inks are not very opaque, the ink will print on the paper with a large amount of transparency. A white ink has almost a blueish appearance. This ink transparency is more evident the darker the paper color.

How Long Does Design Take?

If we Design your project you can expect the first proof 3-5 days, +3days  for illustration.

Client provided design proofs are within a 1 business day.

How does your custom design process work?

This process is about hiring us to create great design work tailored to your specific needs, and well suited for letterpress printing.
ONE – Let’s talk!
The first thing we do is have a conversation with you to establish your needs. This can be a scheduled phone call, email, or an in-studio meeting. We talk through the items you wish to have printed and discuss a project budget.
TWO – How much?
Once we’ve had our conversation with you we will write up and email a contract based on your requested scope-of-work. You must approve this document to proceed. Once we receive this signed document and a 50% deposit we can begin
THREE – We design.
This is the fun part. We show you 2-3 design options, you pick a direction and we revise based on your feedback. The entire design process, with rounds of revisions typically takes 2 – 4 weeks. During this process we can provide guidance about how your design choices will affect production costs, so you can stay within your budget.
FOUR -Roll press!
Production begins when you have signed off on a final design. 10-15 business days is typical production time.
Submit an estimate request here to begin the process.

I already know what I want, I just need you to put the file together. Can you do that?

Unless you are providing us a production ready file, you will require some amount of design services. Our project minimum for design services is $300.

I like something I found on your site, can you make the same thing for me?

We value the design work we have produced and the copy write of other designers. No one project is the same when we create it. Using the templates we have available can be recreated. We provide custom design services to clients in need of print ready files. Please fill out our estimate page Custom Letterpress Design Estimate

Can I alter one of your templates?

We have a range of template styles to choose from that we can put your information in. You can customize inks and paper shade but the content is limited. (because the design cost is already rolled into your template estimate). If you would like to alter any template design this will become a custom design project.

When are you open? Can I come by?

Can I come by: shop hours + Locations, mention store front, project consultation by appointments

Yes, our storefronts are open in Seattle are 10-6pm Daily PST and Kirkland hours are 10-6pm Mon-Sat , Sun 11-5pm. For project consultation please make an appointment.

Do you have studio Tours?

We do not provide tours, our Production is in Seattle, you can see what is going on.

What are your Rush Fees?

1-3days 100% of total

3-5days 50% of total.

7-14days Standard Turnaround

Payment in full is required for all rush orders.

*materials must be available

Payment Terms?

We require a 50% deposit required to start your project. The balance is due at pickup or before shipping release.

Ship Internationally?

Yes, Fed Ex or UPS.

Wholesale or Industry Pricing?

All of our printing pricing is applicable to each specific project.

Bi fold

Bleed:

Deboss

Emboss

Deckle

Die Cut

Duplex:

Edge painting:

Flood

Knockout

Overprint

Gate Fold

Laid Paper

Rule: A thin (.10″) steel piece of metal that is locked into the bed of the printing press. Example: A rule can be used for scoring, perforation or cutting. 

Opacity

(PMS)

Proof

Score: Creasing the paper with a rule so it can be folded, this is ran back through the press.  Example: Folded Card

Spot Color:

Split Ink

Smooth Paper

Trifold

Vector

Deboss: Pressing below surface of paper.

Do you do binding?

Yes if your project requires binding.  Larger quantities of 250+ Let us know your binding requirement, quantities, perfect bound or saddle stitched.

FILE TYPES

HIGH RESOLUTION PRINT FILES

The best file types

. AI Files .PDF .IND

acceptable but will need to be setup for printing.

.Tiff .psd

We do not accept any other formats listed above for printing.

MARKS AND BLEEDS

First things first, let’s have a conversation to establish your needs. This can be a scheduled phone call, email, or an in-studio meeting. We talk through the items you wish to have printed or designed and discuss a project budget.
Your first consultation is free!

Once we’ve had that conversation with you we will write up and email an estimate based on your requested scope-of-work. You must approve this document to proceed. Once we receive this signed document and a 50% deposit we can begin.

FREE CONSULTATION

Papers

SIZES

.25pt minimum on all most line work

7pt minimum on standard serif typefaces (double check for others)

1/8″ margin for all borders

1/8″ Bleeds (past crop marks)

Ink Max Printable area including crops 9″ tall x 12″ wide

Foil Max printable area including crops 9″Wide  x 8″ tall

Maximum Sheet size 10″x15″

SIZES

Minimum Line Work:  .25pt

Smallest Typeface: 7pt minimum on standard serif typefaces (double check for others)

Margin for border: 1/8″

Bleed Settings: 1/8″ Bleeds (past crop marks)

Maximum Paper Size: 10″ x 15″

Maximum Ink Printable Area:  9″x 12″ (Including Crop Marks)

Maximum Foil Printable Area: 9″x 8″ (Including Crop Marks)