To know before you order letterpress

Soft card is best for impression

Recycled & cotton stocks tend to be lovely and soft so create a beautiful pillow effect on the printing. Do also bear in mind wearability some soft stocks (especially cotton) don't wear as well so we wouldn't recommend them in high use situations e.g. business cards.

Large solids will have movement

Another lovely letterpress quirk is that you will get a bit of shadowing and movement -  it is an effect lots of people try to duplicate on photoshop & gives letterpress print a unique handcrafted quality.

Deep impression will show through on the back

How much will depend on the card weight. This is something to consider if you want a double sided design or not & also if you mind that it has gone through? Double sided designs will need a thicker card stock such as our 700gsm.

Letterpress & foil are different finishes

When you wade into the world of letterpress and foil lots of images and information on the web treats them as similar or interchangeable. Whilst they can be printed on the same type of press they are quite different and suit different things. Foils are best suited to metallic colours, which won't appear as shiny by letterpress ink. Letterpress has a more organic crafted quality and is better suited to heavy impression.

The thicker the card stock = better impression

This is not to say you can't get heavy impression on thin stocks there will just be a lot of distortion in the card, the look is cleaner and more deliberate on thick stocks.

There will be variation in the run

Because the letterpress printing process is governed by hand, each print is essentially unique the first and last print won't be identical!

More colours = More cost

With letterpress printing each colour is printed separately and requires its own set of plates, not to mention ink mixing & registration of the second run, it means more makeready & waste card. So the more colours in the design the more it costs.

Small runs are expensive per item

A large part of the costs associated with letterpress are setting up the run if you imagine (for example) it costs £150 to get the first print right then each print after that costs £1 -
If you print 10 the total cost is £160 - £16 each. However for 100 the total is £250 so £2.50 each.

Get matching quotes

When getting quotes from different letterpress printers make sure you compare like for like. Different paper types and thicknesses vary hugely in cost so make sure you have some samples so you don't have a card this thick when you thought you were getting one this thick.