Saturdays February 15 + 22, 10am-2pm REGISTER HERE This class will cover the old and new uses of the letterpress using light-sensitive polymer plate I’m also starting small with a tabletop press, so it seems a bit overkill. They can also withstand very high temperatures required for the moulding process. These plates are called photopolymer plates, and are what present day printers use to make letterpress plates from your computerized work of art. We quickly made back the money on the press. I had learned some of the most complex motion graphic programs with a career in Los Angeles working at Geffen Records and then developing the DVD for MGM assembling over 5000 DVD’s including the James Bond collection but I missed something. The store would bring together beautiful handmade cards and stationery from around the country while featuring my Vandercook #4 proof press as part of the retail environment. Other at-home machines that can be substituted – Fiskars Fuse Kit, Sizzix Big Shot, and Cuttlebug. For example: you can cut a piece of Lino and mount it on some wood and slap that into a press. 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. By 2007, totally over the ever changing climate in my garage I was ready for a change. 16 Gauge magnesium letterpress plates are the most cost-effective metal option. I’m three years in now, and going strong! Ask yourself “why do I print?”, “What makes what I do different from everyone else?”. We quickly made back the money on the press. a printing plate - we ordered ours from Boxcar Press, by sending through a pdf (created by Mr Cake) - best to keep fine detail to a minimum on this. Our first project was to sort a bunch of type into a California Job case. What surprised me, though, was that I loved all of it. Most letterpress plate making companies charge a per inch fee which we believe can be confusing, and costly. … nothing! Hand+Ink Letterpress in Aluminum: I recently had some time to revisit my mini letterpress project. What I loved best, though, was the sense of accomplishment that I felt after pulling a print—the instant gratification of it, combined with the knowledge that every impression was slightly different. strong, wide tape, e.g. Press durability Torelief plates enjoy excellent press life thanks to their unique durability. They were, stereotyped plates (or perhaps photo engraved cuts) taken from forms built up out of linotype slugs. By February of the following year we had our website up and were getting letterpress inquiries. I am probably the oldest person starting letterpress, as I am 50 something. (photography courtesy of Green Door Photography). Here are our the options for K95 plates. Now to put my knowledge to the test! Long story, short…. Amy and I are a great design team; she’s the people person and I tend to communicate better with large machinery… and she fully supports my 1,000 lb habit. But alas, calligraphy was not being offered that session so I enrolled in another class – Intro to Typography, a beginners letterpress course. So that was always there, the idea that books were made, that metal and pressure and gears were involved. 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). And this May, after five years of attending NSS as buyers, we will be exhibiting for the first time as a part of the Ladies of Letterpress booth (booth #2374-80!). We started Wishbone Letterpress because I lost my job, and was unable to find a decent paying job. L Letterpress Printing Techniques from Boxcar Press - Boxcar Press. There are two major aspects of a business: producing goods, and selling them. We currently share a studio/shop space with The Raleigh Architecture and Construction Companies in an old tire shop and have been continuing to work and collaborate with clients and artists in the area. included: $30 for materials. How to use Lifestyles Crafts Letterpress Plates in your Big Shot! Either way, you'll find invaluable tips and tricks at your fingertips in Letterpress Techniques. It was exactly what I had to say at that moment. Once we had 2-3 jobs under our belt we were hooked, but I will admit we were VERY nervous each time a new job came in. We use the expression “foil” because it refers to a very thin plastic that is bonded to the photosensitive polymer. We couldn’t exactly believe we had just spent $1200 plus travel on an antique print shop. ALL of our magnesium and photopolymer letterpress printing plates are capable of holding very fine detail required for high-quality printing with solvent or oil-based inks, including our newest product, the KF152. Welcome to Letterpress Plates by Elum, a photopolymer plating and film output service for commercial printers, designers, and closet letterpress tinker-ers everywhere. 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. If you expand when you can afford it, and only as much as is safe, then the result will be a stable and established business, wholly owned and controlled by you. We chatted with some inspiring printers who have made the leap from hobby printing to either full or part time printing. Printers are able to save money by eliminating duplicate plates and increasing plate making efficiency. For use in the L Letterpress your plate will needs to be less than 15cm wide. Clearly, the plates that ship with the press are made from a material that is not suited to the pressure involved in letterpress printing. ), we made some sample wedding invitation designs, got a few clients, and did some jobs. I missed the days when most people didn’t know what Helvetica meant. He also uses it to replace vintage wood type that he’s accumulated over the years. During that time, I got engaged and discovered letterpress printing. I had been running a small letterpress shop for a design firm in Birmingham, Alabama whose main clients were a large regional bank and various real estate developments. 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. And I started reading. I try to only do things that I am compelled to do. I loved, loved, loved the way my illustrations looked (and felt) pressed into that soft cotton paper… so I followed his advice posthaste. They are sometimes referred to as “zincos” because they used to be made of zinc. They may even be able to create an angled shoulder. After catching the letterpress bug I moved to Philadelphia and eventually found a C&P Pilot in Washington, DC and started working out of a small studio on the third floor of a rented apartment. 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. Every time I pull out my pica pole or tweezers that I’ve owned for 25 years, I get a sense of accomplishment and nostalgia that hitting the print button on the keyboard couldn’t do. After the plate was inked I put my paper on the bottom board of the letterpress bed. Being part of the letterpress community now I feel like a true craftsman again. I was instantly smitten. I’m what I call a “designosaur” a graphic artist from pre-1985 before the Mac was introduced – someone who used T-squares, triangles and wax machines. They are more advantageous if printing or embossing onto soft substrates than the 0.95mm because they offer more relief. We came in contact with a wonderful man in Oklahoma who sold us our C&P 8×12 old-style press in August of 2011. (or at least, nothing to write home about). Photopolymer letterpress plates are able to hold finer screen frequencies, but some customers prefer traditional magnesium plates because they produce a crisper “shoulder”, in their opinion. Letterpress printing is a technique of relief printing.Using a printing press, the process allows many copies to be produced by repeated direct impression of an inked, raised surface against sheets or a continuous roll of paper. So ask around. The shipping costs are crazy. We went from almost full-time down to hobby pretty quickly. Making your own wax seals from your Photopolymer plates. I found one on ebay for what now seams like a steal in “perfect working order”. Hello there Howard! I do calligraphy but not a designer. 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. That’s when I found Fritz at NA Graphics. Ordering. If you want something done right, do it yourself!’ And a major part of our “why” was born. The other facet of our “why” stems from our love of classic typography and design. I am a graphic designer and have owned a boutique design firm since 2003. A wide variety of make letterpress plate options are available to you, such as use, style, and type. By the end of the second class, I was dreaming if quitting my day job. My friend Ben, who I had known by then for 7 years looked at the press and then turned around and offered me his hand. Also, scissors can easily cut the backing. I took my first printing classes as an undergraduate student, continued dabbling throughout graduate school, and then took my first letterpress printing course at The Center for Book Arts (NYC) in 2010. For others wanting to get into the letterpress business, I recommend spending time finding people you respect to work with and taking on jobs that you’ve never tried before. We both thrive on creativity which leaves us short on time and too many expensive hobbies. There was a printing press shaped hole in my life. To make sure that I got good impressions, after each print I wiped the plate clean with a dry cotton rag before reinking. 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. We can also supply the following thicknesses of foil-backed polymer letterpress plates upon request:0.43mm – 0.80mm – 1.14mm. The most effective method to make letterpress printing work of art . Read their stirring stories and then we’d love to hear in the comments section about what it was that made you want to take the full plunge into the world of letterpress! 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 can also supply the following thicknesses of steel-backed polymer letterpress plates upon request: 0.73mm – 0.83mm – 0.17mm … It got to the point after 6 years that if I didn’t take the plunge or figure out a way for there to be an eight day week, it was going to start hurting working relationships that I have built up over the years. As well as from positive. I enjoyed reading the stories on letterpress printing. Once the plate has been washed out, only the required print elements are left in place and the “foil” backing holds them in situ. Print work has been following me around for most of my life. You never know with whom you can trade equitable favors. The KF152 fits perfectly in between the 1.75mm and 0.95mm, serving as a great all-around plate being slightly harder than 1.75mm and giving a deeper relief than the 0.95mm. (I would love to start on my kitchen table like you mentioned in your article). 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! 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). Your email address will not be published. I missed using my hands and having skills that everyone with a computer didn’t think they could do. Almost immediately I started thinking of how to make letterpress my full time job. The inner glow should always be a dark overlay. This hardness keeps the plates from yielding to pressure when the plates leave that oh so desireable impression in soft, uncoated papers. Through these piecemeal jobs, I was learning that what I wanted to do was all of it. In your logo, on your website, in your email signature line, on the back of everything you print. Our part-time shop grew very quickly, at times it was too busy! 8 Gauge magnesium letterpress plates are a perfect choice for newcomers to the trade. From that first job, I knew I wanted to print full time, but there were things that had to be done first, like learn everything I possibly could about letterpress, get as much experience as I could, start a family and begin raising two small children to name a few. Log in to reply 6 replies so far Fortunately (or unfortunately), all I know how to do is run a letterpress so it made the next step undeniable. I met my husband for drinks nearby and declared, “Oh man, I’ve finally found the thing that I want to do!” It really was like a light had been turned on in my life, and everything was suddenly illuminated. Chris and I enjoy our day jobs, so we are happy with our part-time status. 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. Not sure where to start. I was laid off from my job doing design and animation for a national morning television show. After the plate was inked I put my paper on the bottom board of the letterpress bed. Then ink the plates. It was actually scarier, to me, not  to go ahead and do it! Make a business plan. JPEG files will create low-quality letterpress plates that will make you unhappy; its file format is best intended for the web. Local jobs were scarce so we figured it would be best to start our own business. S o here is how I learned to build a letterpress, and a step by step on how to use it.. As a sidenote: I am a pretty crafty, hands-on kind of girl. I loved the meditative process of setting type, as well as the historical anecdotes our instructor, Barbara Henry, told as we worked. It also offers the most relief when printing or embossing onto soft substrates. Steel-backed plates are difficult and painful to cut. 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. There's something so charming about combining high and low tech, which is why I like Trammell Hudson's latest tutorial. He also uses it to replace vintage wood type that he’s accumulated over the years. I try not to compete with what every one else is doing. I think letterpress found me more than I went looking for it. In the context of letterpress, producing is the fun part―printing is why we got involved in the first place. The press arrived refurbished in November of that year. If you can sell what you print out of your living room―or in our case, off the dining room table―then do it. To be perfectly honest, when I first got into letterpress, it was on a whim. We’ve made a habit of constant experimentation in our studio and use new jobs as a way to test out techniques and different mediums. I didn’t know the exact name for those things when I was a little boy, but I do know that one of my earliest memories of the library was thinking about how this thin little volume existed, somewhere, in the form of 196 metal plates on galleys in Brooklyn, Michigan at the Exponent Press. We guarantee that your plates will be made right. Health insurance and a steady, decent paycheck are difficult things to turn one’s back on. We figured out how to get plates made at Owosso Graphic (just north of us! A wide variety of make letterpress plate options are available to you, such as offset printing, letterpress printing. Ultimately, what made the decision easy for me was the unwavering support of family, friends, and letterpress colleagues that I’ve met along the way. My husband still has a full-time job, and he helps me at night and on weekends. We’ll be happy to cut your steel-backed plates for you if you include a simple cutting diagram (with the smallest plate size we can trim being 1.5” x 1.5”). (photograph courtesy of Green Door Photography). Well, there were a few things going on there…first and foremost, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, and there were in fact several parts missing or broken (so much for perfect). https://makezine.com/2012/01/22/how-to-lasercut-letterpress-plates Press durability Torelief plates enjoy excellent press life thanks to their unique durability. I still try to incorporate artwork involving architectural elevations or place mapping whenever appropriate. 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 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. 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