Posts Tagged ‘letterpress printing’

About letterpress printing process, products and services. Tips and tricks

Letterpress is a printing technique dating back to the mid XVth century. 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.

letterpress printing processHow does letterpress work?

The process back in the day 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. As an alternative to the individual metal letters, nowadays photopolymer plates are used, though there still are artisans using the old ways. At the same time, as an alternative to the hand-operated letterpress machines, automated letterpress printing machines are used.

Tips for creating a letterpress-friendly design:

  • avoid using fonts that are too thin or have fine details. During the printing process such details can be lost, so it is best to consider not using them.
  • avoid using more than 2 or 3 ink colors. 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, avoid overlapping the colors.
  • avoid using transparency, shadows, gradients etc. These can not be reproduced in letterpress printing. It’s either the color evenly spread or no color at all.
  • image files can not be used in letterpress and hot foil printing. So no, Photoshop files are not ok as they are image files. The designs used in letterpress and hot foil have to be vector files, grouped and converted to curves. That means you must use a program that creates vector files and the most common ones are Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator (.cdr and .ai files).
  • NO: .psd, .jpeg, .png etc. The design file has to be either .cdr or .ai or vector based .pdf.

Why is letterpress printing more expensive than digital printing?

Despite the use of polymer plates and automated printing machines, letterpress is still a highly complex and time consuming process. Setting up the machine alone takes a lot of attention and patience. Each color in a design gets its own plate and each plate requires a new machine set-up, washing and inking. The thick card stock used for letterpress printing is also not your regular card as well.

Why choose letterpress?

Letterpress printed products are high quality and luxurious; they are special, they provide an exquisite visual and tactile experience that will make it difficult for the receiver to throw them away. In this era of technology when all you need to get contact information is a mobile phone and we even started sending wedding invitations through emails, paper is indeed losing ground. However, letterpress printing came to show that a tangible, physical object will surely leave a lasting impression that will definitely be beneficial on the long term.

letterpress printing process hot foil business cardsWhat does Funky Print Studio offer?

Funky Print Studio is a family-owned and operated letterpress and hot foil atelier based in Bucharest, Romania. Our services include:

  • letterpress printing (we print on an Original Heidelberg Platen windmill from circa 1960) – edge painting, rounded corners, blind impression, emboss (as opposed to deboss = letterpress printing); we also make our own polymer plates in house
  • hot foil printing – various foil colors
  • die cutting – cutting card stock in whatever shape and size using custom dies
  • finishing processes – cutting, folding, perforating, drilling

We do our very best to revive antique machinery and printing processes in order to create impressive details that will be treasured for a long time.

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Appreciating Letterpress Art and Other Traditional Printing Methods

Although the modern era led publications to shift to digital mediums, traditional printing is still kept alive in many parts of the world. Letterpress remains an effective channel to spread news or information and an instrument in making crafts like packaging material and business cards.

There are people though, who are truly passionate in letterpress printing that they have turned it into a form of art. There are exhibits and museums around the world dedicated to the printing press and everything that’s connected to it.

appreciating letterpressThe Museum of Printing is one, which recently settled into its new and improved venue in Haverhill, Massachusetts. What They Think specified that the museum currently displays more than 50 tons of printing equipment and over 6,000 books on display.

It’s just a portion of the grandeur of the printing age, and yet it’s already hard to grasp what you can see and experience in this single museum. Among the most notable items are printing equipment from the Civil War period as well as vintage printers and scanners.

Elsewhere, the Virgil Getto Hall Art Gallery in Western Nevada College (WNC) at Fallon City is more focused on letterpress art as it acknowledges the works of people who enjoy letterpress printing. The WNC website mentioned that the exhibit, titled “Words + Images: Broadsides from the Black Rock Press,” will be on display until October 26.

More than 30 broadsides made using letterpress processes and tools such as handset type and relief plates are lined up along the halls of the gallery. There’s no admission fee to encourage more visitors and spread the dedication of writers and printers.

One of Nevada’s respected writers, Robert Laxalt, is featured through quotations included on the broadsides. Book artists, printmakers, and students also assisted in making the exhibit happen.

Truly, letterpress and printing were, and still are, significant instruments in the progress of society. Without them, reading your broadsheet while having your coffee in the morning wouldn’t be possible, and that’s just among the simplest forms of their value. Everyone, from the average person to the greatest historical figures should know their importance.

appreciating letterpressEven the great Renaissance man was keen on letterpress work. It’s a fact that Leonardo da Vinci is now immortalised through his artworks, numerous films such as Leonardo da Vinci: The Genius in Milan and games like Da Vinci Diamonds which incorporates the artist’s artworks as slot symbols. Aside from his paintings, however, the man was also a prolific inventor, and one of his creations was a letterpress machine which Trib Live described as a favourite in exhibits that recognise his brilliant inventions.

In short, all the books you’ve read, posters you’ve seen, and other printed material you’ve encountered can trace their origins to the traditional methods of printing. You might’ve not known the meaning of the word appreciation without books like dictionaries that you or your teachers have read. Thus, it only seems fair to direct at least a little appreciation to the art of printing.

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Funky Studio updates. What have we been doing lately?

It was about time i put together a Funky Studio updates post. Even though i promised myself i’d blog as much as possible this year, we’re quite busy lately. I’m over the top happy to say that our Free Shipping letterpress in February promotion has a lot to do with our busy schedule.

funky studio updatesWe’re currently working on a bunch of different letterpress projects and each one has something special: lovely letterpress wedding invitations with two ink colors, round letterpress business cards, custom designs for some business cards and on top of all these, we’re also making about 1000 different boxes for our packaging shop. All in all, we’re working hard, so we definitely needed a Funky Studio updates post!

Moreover, we’re also preparing for something big: expanding our little studio’s activity again! We first began with our boxes and paper supplies, were thrilled to throw ourselves into the letterpress world and now, finally, the time has come for the ultimate upgrade: hot foil printing! Although we haven’t officially introduced hot foil as part of our services yet, we’ve already had our first project using this kind of printing and we’re ecstatic! We’re also reminded of our letterpress beginnings: just like it happened now, we took on a letterpress project before even opening our website or shop! Well, stay tuned! Hot foil printing will soon be available in our shop, even though, of course, we can already take orders, so please contact us at office@funkyprintstudio.com if you’d be interested!

The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!

an2

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October mood board inspiration. Hello, spooky October! Please, be good!

My October mood board inspiration is a bit on the dark, bleak, gloomy side. I’m pretty sure November will be even more so, but i’m getting a bit ahead of myself here.

hello october(source)

I kind of started posting these mood boards at the beginning of each month. They pretty much represent how i see and how i feel each month. Well i have to say, despite the fact that autumn and these autumn months are not particularly my favorite, they are, however, very productive. Procrastination is long gone now and we’re on a full-scale working spree, just as i thought it would happen.

Our Funky Box Studio, our boxes and packaging supplies shop, is doing better and better (it’s just the beginning of the month, but we’ve already received 7 etsy orders and several more through direct mail. The same goes for Funky Print Studio, our letterpress printing shop. We’ve taken on a few very interesting projects that i actually can’t wait to talk about! We played with bold ink colors, we did some edge painting and we turned some letterpress cards into stickers!

My October mood board, however, doesn’t really share my enthusiasm over these things. And yet, the weather is a lot warmer for this time of year than it should be! And i’m thankful for that.

I’ve also set some major goals for October:

  • website makeover; i’ll have this website looking top notch. This must be done!
  • post as many of the projects we’ve already completed as possible. I even have the photos for them, so it should be easy…. right?
  • work on new designs for business cards and invitations
  • photograph and have up on etsy the bunch of new boxes we made.

Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet. (Roger Miller)

october mood boardoctober mood board

Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!

an2

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