THE ART OF LETTERPRESS PRINTING
Letterpress printing is a traditional technique of printing that requires impression, precision and dedication. From it’s invention during the 1440’s, letterpress was limited to wooden or metal type, making it hard to fully customize the books and flyers that were being printed. Modern technology allows us to design anything we want, turn it into a “plate”, and print it.
To put it in plain terms, letterpress printing includes a relief design (your invitation, but in 3D form, like a rubber stamp) being pressed into the most beautiful paper to create a stunning impression not only on the paper, but your guests as well.
Today, letterpress printing is loved and coveted by many people because of the physical impression on the paper. The fact that you can run your hand over the piece and FEEL your design communicates a handcrafted luxurious and elegant feeling. Each and every one of Haven’s clients will receive an order that is completely hand crafted from sketching the design, to making the design, to making the plate, to hand feeding the paper to the machine, to packing. Every step is done by hand to ensure that the work we put out is something that our clients and us will be proud of.
HOW DOES LETTERPRESS WORK?
- Designs are created into polymer plates that are “type high” so that the design gives a lasting, pillowy impression onto the paper. Every color in the design requires its own plate because the machine can only be inked with one color at a time. For example, if your invitation is only gray, then only one plate and one ink color is needed for your job. If your names are one color and the rest of the invitation is done in another color, then one plate will be made for your names and another plate will be made for the other elements in the design.
- The letterpress plates are attached to a base that is locked into place on the letterpress machine. The plate is lined up to the paper, so that with each press of the design, it is perfectly laid out on the paper.
- The press is inked up with letterpress ink that has been mixed by hand in-house using the Pantone formula guide. The nature of letterpress allows printing of one color at a time, requiring a separate plate and a separate pass through the press for every color to be printed.
- Cotton paper that has been specially trimmed to size for the project is hand fed through the press, one sheet at a time. Careful attention is paid to various factors throughout the printing process such as alignment, impression, ink coverage, and color consistency. We love to print on handmade, deckled edge paper. We think the most beautiful part of the handmade paper is the inconsistent nature of the paper itself. Each piece of paper is handmade, and no one piece is the same as another. The edges are beautifully deckled, or ragged, which gives off a luxurious, rustic, and timeless piece.
1. We'll start the process by hearing your story and understanding your vision for your event - whether that's via phone call, email, or an inspiration board. When our conversation is over, we will send you information regarding ideas, timeline and costs. We understand weddings can be expensive, so we always try our best to give the most fair price we possibly can. Please note we accept a limited number of custom clients per quarter, and most custom clients have a budget between $4,500 and $9,000. If custom is not right for you, we do offer our Collection and Semi-Custom as options.
To officially begin the design process, a 50% deposit is required to book with us.
2. After we have an understanding of your vision, we'll begin drafting. Timelines vary, but initial concepts are presented generally within 2 to 4 weeks.
3. Once we send the first proof to you via email, we will work on it together with you to get your vision on paper. We offer 3 complimentary proofs, and each proof after that will incur a fee. We do not offer hard copy proofs due to the nature of the printing process.
4. Once the design is perfect and you absolutely love it, we'll send you final proofs for design confirmation. This is where we'll finalize every last detail from alignment to color to (most important) spelling, and then get the project into creation. After the proofs are approved, we require the balance of the order to be paid in full.
It is super important that the proofs are carefully looked at - everything from spelling to spacing. Once proofs are approved, we cannot take any responsibility for mistakes in the final print.
5. We order the custom letterpress plates and start to print! Printing generally takes anywhere from 3 - 4 weeks. All of our stationery is created in a historic maritime village on the north shore of Long Island, New York on our century-old press.
6. After production is complete and your invitations are brought to life, we'll carefully pack up your invitations for shipment or, if you are local to us, alert you to pick them up. We also offer digital guest addressing, so you do not have to write out each guest address and you have time to plan your stunning event.
7. We can also carry out our brides and / or groom's vision through carefully curated and beautifully executed details for the day-of. Whether you'd like custom drink signage, menus, or programs, we will absolutely work with you.