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Letterpress Printing

Letterpress Printing & Graphic Design FAQ’s:

What is Letterpress Printing?
Letterpress is a unique 600-year-old printing process – the distinct feel and finish of letterpress printed paper takes printing back to an era very different from the printing methods used today.

Our cast-iron presses are hand powered. Paper is fed by hand – taking time and a high degree of skill. The type and image are pressed into the paper through the pressure of the press resulting in a charming and timeless tactile impression in the paper.
 
I have something I want letterpress printed. Is this something you do?
Yes, we do offer custom letterpress printing for such things as small as a business card to as large as an 11x14 art print and everything in between (i.e. wedding invitations and suites, and awards and certificates).

Each project is quoted on an individual basis as many factors need to be considered.

Email us some basic information about your project (dimensions, quantity, ink colours, date required) to get your custom quote.
 
Keep in mind that not all designs are letterpress friendly. We have a Designing for Letterpress tip sheet that we can provide, if you or someone else will be creating the design. It’s best to involve us early, if your heart is set on a letterpress product.
 
Do you letterpress print supplied designs by another graphic designer?
Designs prepared outside of Inkwell are accepted. However, your graphic designer must ensure that all Designing for Letterpress tips have been followed in order to avoid additional fees and also to ensure suitability of artwork for letterpress printing. All supplied designs require review by Inkwell in order to properly provide the custom quote.
 
Please note: You are responsible for obtaining copyright / licensing permissions for any artwork submitted for printing.
 
I have something that I want printed. Can you help me with that?
We offer letterpress printing only. If that’s the printing process you desire, we would love to work with you.
 
I have something that I need designed. Can you help me with that?
We only offer graphic design services for projects that we can letterpress print. If that’s the printing process you desire, we would love to work with you.
 
A consultation in person or by phone may be necessary for custom design work. It allows us to discuss any ideas, themes, or inspirations you have for your project and to gather any additional information.
 
How much would it cost to have something letterpress printed?
All projects are quoted on an individual project basis as many factors need to be considered. 

Email us some basic information about your project (dimensions, quantity, ink colours, date required) to get a custom quote.
 
Keep in mind that not all designs are letterpress friendly. We have a Designing for Letterpress tip sheet that we can provide, if you or someone else will be creating the design. It’s best to involve us early, if your heart is set on letterpress.
 
How large can you print?
Maximum artwork size is 11”x14”. Maximum size paper we can print on is 14.5” x 20”.
 
What kind of paper do you print on? What kind of ink do you use?
All printing is done on our in-house paper. Our house paper is made of 100% recycled cotton specifically for letterpress printing and takes an impression very well. It is available in 118 lb and 236 lb weights and 2 shades of white: Bright or Natural.
 
When choosing colours for your design, keep in mind that each colour is a separate print run through the press and will add to the cost.
 
An additional mixing fee will be charged for custom mixed ink (Pantone or swatch). We mix our rubber based inks by hand. Therefore, slight variations may occur from batch to batch.
 
What is the turn-around time for a letterpress project?
Printed products are usually ready 4-5 weeks from time of order to completion. Please allow additional time if shipping is required.
 
During busy periods (i.e. Christmas/holiday season, wedding season), please allow at least 6-8 weeks from the time your artwork is approved until your printing is completed.
 
Do you offer finishing services?
At this time, we do offer corner rounding. We do not offer additional services such as duplexing, edge painting, hot foil, die cutting or perforation.
 
Can I see samples of your work?
Visit us to see our growing portfolio. The letterpress process and our work are best appreciated in person!

Do you offer classes or workshops?
Our workshops are currently on hiatus. We have ideas percolating and hope to offer some letterpress workshops in the near future.
 
Twice a year (Inkwell’s anniversary celebrated in June and Nocturne: Art at Night celebrated in October), we bring a letterpress out on the store floor. At these times, visitors get to try their hand at printing a free keepsake on an antique printing press.
 
Can I rent time on your letterpress equipment?
Our presses are located within the retail shop and off-site studio. Rented press time is therefore not available.
 
What is your Environmental Policy?
Inkwell prints on paper made of 100% recycled cotton paper. Our presses are hand powered and hand fed. We use recyclable plastic sleeves for our paper goods and biodegradable products for cleanup.
 
Have another question? Email us!