how to make letterpress plates
During that time, I got engaged and discovered letterpress printing. The Original Heidelberg's were inspiring; churning out perfect impressions over and over. Of course, this all takes time to accomplish. The decision to go full-time with Shed Letterpress was really just a matter of finding the right space. If you go into debt to start up, then you don’t really own the business, your bank does. How to use Lifestyles Crafts Letterpress Plates in your Big Shot! I’d decided on the name Shed Letterpress for my business about a month before, and my husband surprised me with my very own letterpressed business cards as my paper gift. L Letterpress Printing Techniques from Boxcar Press - Boxcar Press. Your email address will not be published. Making your own letterpress work of art is very direct. ), we made some sample wedding invitation designs, got a few clients, and did some jobs. This is sometimes referred to as “standard relief” when using a Boxcar base. Letterpress printing has become the go-to printing technique for wedding invitations, greeting cards, and business cards for anyone hoping to make an impression (pun intended) on the recipient. Log in to reply 6 replies so far Mounted Letterpress Printing Plates ship the next day if the order is received by our 10am EST cut-off time. I’m not a printer who writes. We gathered some of letterpress’s best to give their testaments to the alluring power of printing. (However, you can try this with other brands, too!) duct … By 2007, totally over the ever changing climate in my garage I was ready for a change. Fast forward a couple more years and a job change, and I was back in Raleigh and looking to get the press up and running. For what it’s worth, I think that when transitioning into anything new, it’s helpful to see everything you’ve done as building blocks for your future. Could you recommend a reading source or a direction to learn about equipment for getting started as I mentioned? My first paid job was a series of business cards for a photographer in town, and since then I’ve worked on a variety of wedding invites, greeting cards, Christmas ornaments and others. Press durability Torelief plates enjoy excellent press life thanks to their unique durability. It was a bit daunting, but we knew we had to continue taking on the work so we could become more comfortable with the process. We were taking letterpress classes and researching business development while I was still working, but hadn’t planned on starting a letterpress business so soon. Either way, you'll find invaluable tips and tricks at your fingertips in Letterpress Techniques. Wait a minute! Therefore the operator has to understand the characteristics of the bath at different stages to ensure a clean etch.At Centurion Graphics, our team has been etching magnesium plates since 1981, some 38 years! As the process is very manual, letterpress prints tend to also be as much about the paper stock as the print itself, with the printer and designer working together to choose unusual, richly textured or heavyweight stocks. Once you have a “why”, trumpet it everywhere. And even then you will be working like a dog, but at least you won’t be broke.” So don’t quit your day job. Through phone conversations and emailed photos, Fritz was able to diagnose and treat my ailing press (he is a true hero of letterpress… and there are many more out there that if I mentioned them all here this would be a hundred pages). The NYC Resistor member posted an excellent guide on how to use a lasercutter to create intaglio letterpress plates out of acrylic, which is much less expensive than using the traditional copper. We ended up purchasing a C&P Pilot Press in July of 2010. I started working on the idea after many visits to a letterpress company. I try not to do things I feel like I SHOULD do, or that would be GOOD for me, or my career. The process involves exposing light-sensitive photopolymer with UV light through a digital negative to create a printable plate. After the plate is created, ink is added to the sections of the plate to be printed. The picture below is with my plate inked with a bit too much ink, but unfortunately I didn't take a picture with it inked the right amount. My husband and I began to toss around potential names. Your first fill (the main color of your text or object) should be slightly more vibrant than your background. We quickly made back the money on the press. There are a multitude of methods for making plates. You can achieve a slightly deeper emboss or de-boss in the substrate with this extra relief compared to the others. Knowing that there was always someone on the other end of the phone, or even just asking the same question as me in a Briar Press post, made me feel less alone and more able to take on the crazy responsibility of becoming a small business owner. I have 2 C&P’s and 1 (scary) Heidelberg… Sitting starring at me for 3 years now. Her studio was my happy place… I was always enamored by the smell of print: fresh sawdust in the wood shop where plywood became relief, the earthy smell of ink mixed and spread, turpentine in the air everywhere. (photography courtesy of Green Door Photography). Note: I didn't say "easy." They are more advantageous if printing or embossing onto soft substrates than the 0.95mm because they offer more relief. Business came slowly at first but I made enough to get by and keep the doors open. Here are our the options for K95 plates. Geralyn will demonstrate five fun techniques for printing with letterpress plates for your layouts, cards, and pocket pages. The ensuing conversation, edited for family viewing, went something like: ‘If only there could be a line of high-quality, classically-designed cards, guaranteed to be fountain pen-friendly. They offer a beautifully crisp print for the customer who appreciates more traditional methods. Plate hardness is measured in durometer. Because they are 4mm thick to begin with, they allow for a deep etch of around 2-3mm. We use the expression “foil” because it refers to a very thin plastic that is bonded to the photosensitive polymer. We have a variety of these standard base plates that can be used with a Boxcar base (94FL / 94CHFB / KF95). Once the plate has been washed out, only the required print elements are left in place and the “foil” backing holds them in situ. Ultimately it came down to the fact that there were not enough hours in the day to have another job on top of trying to run a business and get orders out promptly. Thanks to its unique chemical make up Torelief offers an extraordinarily fast washout along with excellent reproduction of all fine details. A friend of mine had recently purchased a table-top press and I was very interested in the process. Your second fill (the shadow) should be slightly darker than your background and text color; your highlight (fill #3) should be the lightest version of your color. I am a true believer of serendipity; I think things happen for a reason, that if you’re listening, your life’s work is calling out to you like a soul mate. Design your own images for letterpress using a light–sensitive polymer plate and get certified to use the Vandercook press! In the case of Sevanti Letterpress, our “why” grew out of an already-established business: vintage fountain pens. What surprised me, though, was that I loved all of it. With all of the equipment finally in one place, my partner and I thought it was time to finally move from hobby to a part-time business and Crosshatch Printing Co. was born. (I would draw or tape a rectangle for the plate, then a larger rectangle for the paper, and then put the plate down, then the paper) So I would just place the paper over the inked plate and then run it through the press. The details of what you print, and how and to whom you sell, will vary depending on your location, your market, and your circumstances. My wife and I immediately decided we need to professionalize. Steel backed letterpress plates are ideal if you are using a magnetic base as you won’t require glue or double-sided tape to fix in place. Chris instantly loved the idea, so we hashed out the details over the course of our Santa Cruz trip and upon our return we began searching for a table-top press. Maybe it’s because I learned on a Windmill, a more traditionally commercial press, but it never occurred to me to just get a C&P and make some stuff in my spare time. Also, scissors can easily cut the backing. I’m also starting small with a tabletop press, so it seems a bit overkill. He said if you are going to get into letterpress you’ve got to get a Vandercook Proof Press and something about if you could find a number 4, you’d be set. (or at least, nothing to write home about). The trick is to make sure there is no ink on that bordering edge, because it will hit the paper. Alibaba.com offers 1,197 make letterpress plate products. And I was OK with that because I was producing far more than I could ever keep! I’m three years in now, and going strong! 16 gauge plates can be wood mounted to type high (23.32mm). No funky angled printing, multiple colors, or 1950s clip art here! Like, when I bought the press, I was meeting myself for the first time. I was instantly smitten. We’ve brought letterpress into the 21st century. To make a cutting diagram, create a separate file showing your cutting marks in red or pure magenta. What is Proportional or Disproportional sizing. Printing - Printing - Offset plate making: Depending on the work they are intended for, various kinds of plates and processes for preparing them exist. By the end of the second class, I was dreaming if quitting my day job. One danger is to minimize the importance of this second aspect of business: ‘When they see my beautiful work, it will sell!’, or ‘I can sell online―the world is my market!’ However, the world―and especially the internet―is a noisy place, and it is hard to be noticed at all, let alone make an impact. It also offers the most relief when printing or embossing onto soft substrates. The industry had collapsed by 1993, and in the early 2000s letterpress was as dead as it ever was going to get. The entire letterpress … This is something we’ve been saying is possible for quite a while, a cost effective method of creating wax seals for use with your stationery. After the plate was inked I put my paper on the bottom board of the letterpress bed. So ask around. Check out this Glowforge project by cynd11: I was working on this project when I saw the posting on this subject by @j_d_hastings, and he inspired me to continue this project using the Draftboard that I had initially cut it out of as a prototype (was going to use maple ply). (I would draw or tape a rectangle for the plate, then a larger rectangle for the paper, and then put the plate down, then the paper) So I would just place the paper over the inked plate and then run it through the press. Not sure where to start. For example: you can cut a piece of Lino and mount it on some wood and slap that into a press. 6 months later, I did. I was lucky enough to find a C&P 10×15 in my hometown of Raleigh, NC a couple of years later and with the help of family, friends, and forum searching moved it into the family garage. I went from working for someone else to dreaming of my own Windmill, and my own press. We chatted with some inspiring printers who have made the leap from hobby printing to either full or part time printing.