Colorful Ink Swatches

We custom mix our inks for each job. Our presses are really efficient and we use less than a tablespoon of ink for a set of note cards. A little goes a long way as the inks are like a thick paste. When mixing, we start with some base colors that we combine, often with the addition of black or white to tone down the saturation.

We frequently get requests for tinted embossing. We add a drop of gray ink when we print embossings to give the imagery a bit more of a shadow. The result is subtle, and beautiful when paired with a deeper color.

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Oh la la: A Destination Wedding in the South of France

We love when we have the opportunity to letterpress print wedding invitations for creative couples. These wedding invitations were designed by the betrothed couple, Jennifer and James. The result was a very unique design, full of color and fun flourishes.

Jennifer and James fell in love with the South of France when they vacationed there together. From the delicious food to the warmth of the countryside, they knew that this was the perfect destination for their wedding. The event was held at an idyllic castle called Château de Lisse, no doubt the inspiration for many fairy tales. The week long event allowed their guests ample time to explore the South and the breathtaking grounds of the château.

It was a lot of fun to print wedding invitations in such vibrant and playful colors. The bright green and blue ink look were an amazing combination. The background of the invitation was a half-tone moon printed in perfect sky blue, with stars dotting the edges. The decorative frame  in vivid green added just the right amount of contrast.

They designed these great matching coasters for the reception, as well. We love that they lined the border with the coordinates of the château and topped it off with a very stylish ampersand.

We are envious of anyone who received these letterpress wedding invitations! We're sure it was the trip of a lifetime.

Matte Gold Wedding Suite

We just finished printing this wedding set for a lovely couple who are getting married in Italy. We're jealous: all that wonderful food, gorgeous views and la dolce vita! They decided to have the set printed in our matte gold ink: we love how this hue is the perfect blend of elegant and understated.

They selected a few of illustrations from our image library to give an extra level of customization to their invitation:

We love the little heart lockets and we also really like how the simple heart silhouette looks as a blind-embossed pressed image:

Without ink, it just highlights the quality of the impression.

Congratulations Maegan and Eric!

Stationery for ourselves

Every so often, we print stationery for ourselves. Whether it's a new set of Sesame Letterpress business cards or notecards with our name at the top, it's always a treat to experiment with some of the layouts and fonts that we regularly work with. Breck was in need of a new set of social stationery so she designed a really lovely, elegant layout:

These are printed in our saturated black ink, using Carolyna font. We love how these have a really strong look while also featuring a few little flourishes and embellishments. So simple and so perfect. Here's a close up of the printing:

Wedding invitation simplicity

Our wedding invitations range from intricate custom layouts with bespoke illustrations to the very simplest, classic text-based designs. We are passionate about printing invitations across this spectrum and part of the appeal of our work is that we can really try to translate the personality of the couples we work with onto their stationery. Emilie and Andrew opted for a beautiful, clean layout that let the fonts, color and letterpress impression shine through. And we are massive fans of how these came out:

The Golding Jobber No. 7: The rollers

Before Kate gets started fixing up our letterpress, she did a thorough audit of all the parts to see what was redeemable and which bits of kit had reached the end of their lifespan. Sadly, the rollers were just not up to scratch. The material had decomposed - most likely from lack of use. That said, letterpress rollers usually need to be replaced around every ten years so we expected that this would be a spare part we would have to factor in.

Yikes: it almost looks like a small animal has been gnawing on the rollers: here's a close-up of one of them:

Interestingly, the Golding Jobber holds three rollers, but we often print using just two and the results are the same.

The purpose of the rollers is to transfer ink onto the plate, which is then pressed into the paper stock, leaving a de-bossed mark. Since the beginning of letterpress, the concern has always been how to ensure that ink is transferred with consistency and equal pressure. In the very early stages, printers applied the ink manually, using something called an ink ball or dabber which consisted of a wooden handle and sheepskin bag filled with horsehair:

In 1818, Robert Harrild developed the first ‘composition roller’, made of glue (from calfskins) and treacle. Needless to say, though this was an improvement on the dabber, it was still not ideal. Luckily, in the intervening years, the materials used for rollers have improved and they now have a much longer lifespan (and they are not made from treacle!)

- Jana