I thought I’d share a quick, behind-the-scenes of designing and printing a letterpress product. SIMPLESONG is home to two (soon three!) printing presses including a Golding Pearl (c. 1906) and a tabletop Chandler & Price Pilot (c. 1940). I occasionally use metal or wood type but primarily use photopolymer plates allowing me to print pretty much any design. Here’s the basic process…
I use Illustrator for the design portion of the work. Here are sample concepts provided for a recent calling card project for client Joslyn Taylor of Simple Lovely (she chose layout 1). Once finalized, the artwork is sent out for platemaking – I use (and love) Boxcar press for this.
Once I’ve received the plates and I’m ready to print, I prep the press, trim the paper and mix the ink by hand. The plate is then positioned onto the press and each piece is printed one at a time.
In this case, because of the size I print two at a time. In letterpress printing, each color requires a separate plate and an additional run through the press. In this case, this 1-color card was run through the press just once.
Once done its trimmed to size and each piece is reviewed for quality…then its ready to go!