1. What is letterpress?
Letterpress is a printing technique dating back to the mid XVth century. The process back then followed a very strict, detailed, meticulous and precise routine: individual metal letters of various fonts and sizes were carefully arranged and put together to form the text to be printed; after that, ink was applied thoroughly over the letters and then they’d be ready to be printed by applying pressure. Even though nowadays digital printing is commonly used as the main method for printing, letterpress is seeing a rebirth because of its unique feel, texture and visual effects. However, this revival, as opposed to letterpress’ use back in the day, is seen in fine arts, stationery, special events etc. Also, as an alternative to the individual metal letters, nowadays photopolymer plates are used (we, at FPS, have this particular service in-house). At the same time, as an alternative to the hand-operated letterpress machines, automated letterpress printing machines are used. We print on an automated Original Heidelberg Platen windmill from circa 1960.
2. How do i order?
– please contact us at email@example.com or directly through our Contact form with the following details:
a. number of pieces wanted (for business cards the minimum order is 100 pieces; for wedding invitations, baby shower invitations, various events invitations, RSVPs, save the dates the minimum order is 50 pieces; for stationery the minimum order is 40 pieces)
b. type of card stock out of the ones we work with – Keaykolour Original Snow White – 450gsm / 600gsm, Keaykolour Original China White – 450gsm / 600gsm, Keaykolour Original Biscuit – 450gsm / 600gsm, Cordenons Creative Wild – 450 gsm / 600gsm, Grey papier mache, duplexed kraft – 600gsm
c. vector file attachment to be printed – Corel Draw, Illustrator, Indesign. Please do not send .jpeg files, screenshots or hand-drawn files as we can not use them
d. if you don’t have a design already created, please send us images of designs you like or links to various sites in order for us to better understand what you’re after. Based on this, we can set up the design fee
e. number of ink colors – the number of colors does influence the final price of the items. Please see questions No. 3 and 4 for further details regarding colors
f. dimensions – we do not have standard sized items. You can choose whatever size format you’d like, but please do keep in mind that for items in need of envelopes, a custom size will surely generate additional costs for custom envelopes
g. additional services wanted: double sided printing, edge painting, rounded corners, blind impression, emboss, die cutting (various forms and sizes), perforating, drilling
h. your location: in order for us to come up with the best shipping options for you, it is very important to know your location
– if we’re the ones creating your design, after the fee is paid, you’ll receive an initial digital proof; you’ll then be able to let us know if there are any changes you’d like to be made. If so, we’ll keep revising the digital proof until you are 100% satisfied! (Tip: when checking to see if the digital proof is exactly how you’d like it to be, please have it printed on a regular printer first. This way you’ll get a better sense of proportions and arrangements. It will not, however, be taken into consideration color-wise. Digital printing on a regular paper will not have exactly the same color as letterpress printing on special 100% cotton card stock.)
– when everything is settled regarding the artwork to be printed, you will receive a PayPal invoice for our letterpress printing services. Payment is due before the actual printing. (Tip: Due to the personalized nature of this service, no refunds will be issued once printing has started. Therefore, please be extra careful when giving us the ok for the artwork!)
– once the PayPal invoice is paid and we’re set to go, our turnaround time is between 2 – 3 weeks
– as soon as we mail your package, we will send you an update also containing the tracking number
3. How many colors can you print on one item (business card, invitation etc)?
Basically we could print as many colors as you wish, but we do not recommend printing more than 3 colors. (Tip: adding another color actually means starting the whole printing process all over again; each color gets its own plate and printing time. Therefore, the price is surely influenced by the number of colors to be printed. Also, please keep in mind that colors in letterpress are not meant to be overlaid).
4. How can i choose a color?
This question mostly applies if we’re the ones creating your design. In order to choose the colors you like, please visit this catalog . We can pretty much use any color in this catalog, so all you have to do is give us the codes you see written above each color. (Tip: please keep in mind that what you see on the monitor can be quite different from what it actually looks like when printed and even more so when letterpress printed!)
5. What kind of card stock do you use?
We usually work with the following types of card stocks:
– Keaykolour Original Snow White – 450gsm
– Keaykolour Original China White – 450gsm
– Keaykolour Original Biscuit – 450gsm
– Cordenons Creative Wild – 450gsm
– Grey papier mache
– duplexed kraft – 600gsm
Please see the photo above for reference for the first 4 types of card stock. However, colors can differ depending on the monitor. If, however, you’d like a different type of card stock (that can be letterpress printed on), please let us know and we’ll do our best to get it done.
6. What kind of artwork do i send?
If you already have the design ready, please send it to us in a vector file format – Corel Draw, Illustrator, Indesign. Please do not send .jpeg files, screenshots or hand-drawn files as we can not use them. If we’re the ones creating your design, please send us photos or links or mood boards for inspiration in order to have a better understanding of what you’d like and as a result, we’d be sending you digital proofs.
7. How long will it take until i receive my order?
Our turnaround time is between 2 – 3 weeks from sign-off of design to leaving the package at the post office / courier.
a. The design step of the process should take about 4 – 5 days, depending on rapidity of mail answering, the client’s rapidity in decisions making and other unforeseeable events. (Tip: Ideally, you shouldn’t rush this process so that you will be 100% sure when giving us the ok. Please double and triple check your text to be printed as there won’t be any way of turning back once we start printing! Moreover, because of the personalized nature of this service, refunds can not be issued, so once more, please check again!)
b. The actual production of the items takes between 2 – 3 weeks. Please do not ask us to reduce the production time. We always do our best to deliver quality items as fast as we can.
c. Shipping time depends on the client’s location and chosen shipping method.
8. Do you use only specific format sizes for the business cards / invitations?
We can have all items come in whatever format size you wish, so go ahead and throw us a challenge! We’ll be sure to deliver! (Tip: even though the price is only slightly influenced by the size modification, please keep in mind that for items in need of envelopes, a custom size will surely generate additional costs for custom envelopes!)
9. Can you provide samples?
We can provide samples for the following:
– blank card stock: in order for you to check the texture and color of each one of the types of card stock we work with, you can order a sample set
– letterpress printed items: we can offer samples of letterpress printed invitations / business cards / stationery. Please keep in mind that these samples are items already printed and will not be customized in any other way
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly through our Contact form if you’d like to get some of our samples!
In addition, we will constantly update our blog and gallery with photos of our latest works and works in progress.
10. Details regarding prices and pricing system?
Since there are so many variables, there can not be fixed prices for custom works. There are, however, fixed prices for already existing designs or specific overall details. Please check our Etsy shop in order to get an idea about prices or simply contact us directly for a personalized offer.
11. Details regarding shipping fees?
Shipping fees are calculated based on the package’s final weight, your location and the shipping method that you choose. Guidelines regarding shipping fees:
– if you choose to have your package delivered through the post office, we will use priority mail with tracking number. This is the least expensive option. Usually, priority mail takes about 7 – 10 days to get to destination within Europe and 10 – 14 days outside of Europe. However, delays may occur due to customs and other unforeseeable events.
– if you choose to have your package delivered through a courier, depending on your location, we have the following options:
* if you are within Europe, you’d like a safer way of shipping, but still not very expensive, we work very well with DPD Courier. They have various delivery time frames depending on your location. If you are pressed for time, they can also offer express delivery for a higher fee
* if you are outside of Europe, we can either suggest a courier for you or you can choose one yourself and ask us to have your package delivered by them
If you have any other questions, please contact us at email@example.com or directly through our Contact form and we will do our best to answer as soon as possible!