A letterpress sneak peek straight from my studio

2 May

Remember this big, old, honkin’ 100 yr. old thing I wrote about back in October?

Well…we’ve been printing on it a bunch…and I felt it was time for an update to my loyal readers.

Our most recent print job was printed on 100% cotton paper from Crane.  It is one of the most luxurious, softest, most gorgeoouus gorgeous papers I’ve ever worked with.  So obsessed.  Really, you can’t help but touch and feel the paper…not to mention…once it is letterpressed you REALLY can’t help it because it leaves such a rich, deep impression from the letterpressing process.  Swoon!

I suppose it’s time to show you a few pictures from our latest print job + a bit of description on the process.

1) For each color, we had a photopolymer plate made.  You can see what one looks like below.

For this job we did three colors!

Image Source: Elum

2) Next, we mixed the inks to get the exact right shades we were looking for.  One color at a time.

Image Source: nomadic

3) The first ink color goes on the press & rollers.  ALL pieces with that color are printed.

Image Source: Peas&Cornbread

Everything is cleaned off, then the second ink color is applied to the press & the paper pieces are put back in to add the 2nd color to them.  Same goes for the third color.

One of the hardest parts of the whole process is figuring out how much padding to add behind the paper so that when the plate hits the paper it pushes in…but not too much and not too little.  Too much and the paper cracks.  Too little and you can’t tell it’s indented.

Color differences, flaws, & other variations are part of the process of hand-made goods, and add to the appeal of letterpress.

Here’s an image of the layout of a completed invitation page.  We’re cutting these ones after, but you can cut before & then print.

Image: Lifework

Here’s a closeup of the invitation, so you can see the indentation and the reason letterpress is highly sought after!!!  GORGE no!?  You can see a bigger version if you click on the picture.

Image: Lifework

I plan to post pictures of the fully assembled invitations once they are completed, but I seem to always promise more to come soon…and so far I haven’t followed through very well!  I’m workin’ on it.

Now you see why letterpress everything is my new favorite obsession.  I hope many of my future clients opt to go for letterpress printing instead of digital!

2 Responses to “A letterpress sneak peek straight from my studio”

  1. Ronalisa May 2, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    This is such a beautiful work of art Marissa! I am so impressed on your selection of paper, lettering and the necessary skill that requires a delicately balanced impression from the letterpress. This invitation aspires to nothing less than exquisite and this gorgeous invitation would surely make Prince William and Kate jealous!
    Way to go…Lifeworkmedia!!!

  2. Grandma May 3, 2011 at 6:00 am #

    As usual, I am in awe of what you can do. You make me very proud to be your grandma. Keep up the good work.

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