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Frequently asked questions

Ordering and Pricing

 
HOW DOES THE ORDERING PROCESS WORK FOR CUSTOM ITEMS?

We've simplified our ordering process into 7 easy steps.  While most of our custom work is geared toward weddings, the process will be the same for other items.  Check it out here.

 

WHERE CAN I BUY YOUR STATIONERY LINE?

We also design and manufacture a line of greeting cards, stationery and other hand-printed items. You can purchase them at our brick and mortar, online here, or at one of our Retailers.

 

WILL YOU PRINT A DESIGN I HAVE?

Sure will!  But it has to be letterpress ready.  If you're not sure what that means, reach out to us and we'd be happy to take a no obligation look.  If your work needs a little help from us, a design fee may apply.  For tips on designing for letterpress, see the Things to Consider section below.

 

CAN YOU SEND ME A PRINTED PROOF OF MY ITEM?

Since a letterpress print requires inking-up, press set-up and creating a printing plate, printed proofs of your piece are not an option.  Instead, we send a digital version for you to review.  Of course, we are happy to send you samples of printed work, paper stocks, etc. to help you select your options.

 
DO YOU PROVIDE SAMPLES?

Yes!  We know how important it is to see and feel paper and we are happy to provide printed samples,.  You can also purchase samples of our suites here.

 

WHY DOES LETTERPRESS COST MORE?

Letterpress is a unique and labor intensive printing process.  Unlike conventional printing, it requires processing a printing plate.  It involves mixing and applying ink by hand, one color at a time.  The process produces a much different look than digital methods.  To learn more, read about letterpress and explore the process.

 

WHAT PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?

We accept payment via credit card (visa, mastercard, american express).  If you are local, you may also pay in cash.

 

HOW DO YOU SHIP? CAN YOU SHIP INTERNATIONALLY?

We primarily ship custom orders via UPS.  If you have a preferred method, please let us know.  Yes, we ship internationally.  Import taxes are at the buyer's expense.

 

Printing, Ink and Paper

WHAT IS LETTERPRESS?

Letterpress is a type of relief printing.  To learn more, visit our Letterpress 101 page.

 

CAN YOU PRINT LOTS OF COLORS? AND WHY IS IT MORE EXPENSIVE?

Each color in a design comes from hand-mixed printing ink that is applied one color at a time. That means each color requires its own run through the press, set up time, printing plate or type set, and wash-up.  That’s ok with us!  But that is why the cost increases with each color you select.

 

CAN YOU MATCH A SPECIFIC COLOR?

Yes!  Letterpress inks use the Pantone system.  It does not use the CMYK model utilized in digital printing.  Colors can appear different on screen.  For that reason, your digital proof may not match your printed item.  It will match the Pantone color chosen.  To match a specific color, please view a physical swatch book in person to select your colors.  If you are unable to access one, you can give us a physical sample of the color you'd like and we will match it as closely as possible.

 

CAN YOU PRINT LIGHT INK ON DARK PAPER?

Yes, but it will have a very transparent effect.  Letterpress inks are not opaque and for this reason we typically do not print light ink on dark paper.  If you want a subtle debossed or blind impression look, this can have a cool effect.  But if you want a pop of color on black, we suggest using metallic inks or foil.

 

WHAT IS A BLIND IMPRESSION?

A blind impression is when a print is run without ink.  Depending upon the type of paper used, this can leave a light or deep deboss in the paper and give an embossed look.

 

Things to Consider for Letterpress Design

Are you considering designing your own piece?  The Letterpress printing process is intricate and has some steps you may not be familiar with and working with vintage equipment comes with some of its own considerations. This section is meant to help familiarize you with the process and provide some tips on a great design and smooth process.

 

Printing Plates.  Remember, letterpress is old school!  We don't use digital printers for these items.  The digital design is transfered to a printing plate that can be used in our vintage press.  The plate is covered with ink and pressed onto the paper.  In order for the digital design to transfer well to a printing plate, it should be in a vector-based file, like an .ai, .eps or .pdf.  

 

One Color at a Time.  Each color in your piece will be printed on its own.  Accordingly, you will need to separate the design file into colors.  In order to transfer the design to a printed plate, we need each layer or "color" to be in 100% black.  

 

Fine Lines.  Digital designs that include very fine lines can be difficult to transfer to a printing plate.  We’ll let you know if we see anything, but you may wish to keep this in mind up front. This includes fonts with hairline parts.

 

Mixing Fine and Bold Designs.  Large bold designs require more ink coverage than thin, fine designs. It’s best to have similarly weighted designs so the ink can be adjusted perfectly.

 

Transparent Ink: Lettepress ink isn’t opaque.  This means that when you print light ink on a dark paper color, you can see the paper through the ink, creating a very subtle effect.  It's not for most projects.  Metallic ink or foil is a way around this if you’re set on a dark paper color and want the ink to pop.

 

Doesn't hesitate to contact us for help.

 

Preserving the art of letterpress

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VIOLET PRESS

324 Main Street

Longmont, CO 80501

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