We're often asked about printing "blind", which means printing without any ink, so you just see the impression of an image or text. While the subtlety of a blind emboss is nice, we prefer to print a tinted emboss. These photos illustrate the soft quality of an illustration printed with transparent ink, sized with a touch of gray ink. This small amount of ink helps to create a bit of a shadow on the paper, so that the image reads a little better, but doesn't interfere with the text.
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.
If you're looking for a subtle image to accent your custom stationery, we recommend printing in a blind emboss like these images illustrate. Generally, we use a touch of pigment in a clear ink to help give the image a bit of shadow on the paper. The result is a beautiful bit of texture that allows your text to stand out, while giving the design a bit more depth. We don't recommend doing a blind or tinted emboss for text, as it is not reliably legible.
We share a lot of photos of the stationery we're printing so for a change, we've decided to step back and show some pictures of our studio and printing presses.
We do all of our own letterpress printing here in the Brooklyn studio. Doing this ourselves allows us to really pay attention to each piece that passes through the press and be certain that it matches the design we've created. It is important to us that our stationery is perfect as it has to represent the people who will be writing on and sending it. Having control in the printing helps us ensure this.
Plus, we like making things and it’s immensely satisfying to start the day with stacks of blank paper and finish it with stacks of beautiful stationery!
Photography by Zachary Hartzell
In honor of spring, we designed and printed a new set of garden inspired letterpress cards. We've been dying to use Reich Paper's soft gray paper and thought this would be the perfect project. We printed vintage etchings of insects in charcoal ink, with a layer of neon color underneath. The result is a set of eye-catching cards with a greeting for every occasion.
We loved the idea of mixed sets so much that we we're now selling some of our old favorites in boxed sets, as well. Our Animal Portrait and Kraft collections each contain 6 assorted cards with matching envelopes, and are tied up in a box with a pretty ribbon.
These letterpress card sets are perfect for anyone who still enjoys sitting down to pen a personal note to family and friends. These and more are available at our online shop.
We've added a new New York City invitation to our wedding collection. This set pulls elements from vintage maps, iconic landmarks and every day life in the city. This design proves that even pigeons can be sweet when letterpressed in gold ink. We think the combination of elements, in classic black and gold ink, makes a really lovely NYC themed invitation suite!
Love the design, but live in another city? We can customized these invitations for your location, too. If you're interested, email us the details and we'll find iconic images that reflect your city.
We're loving rich black ink these days. Here is a beautiful design by Erin Hall of Hall & Co. The cards are duplexed, black and white stock, with rich black and matte gold letterpress. The playful script in this logo is such a fun example of hand-lettering. This is a business card that you'll want to hold onto!
All of the designs in our Wedding Collection are meant to be customized to reflect a couple's style and the tone of their event. We love seeing how different these designs look for different couples. Here is one of our favorite versions of the Floral Wreath design. Black letterpress printing always looks incredibly elegant.
Their simple serif monogram fits perfectly inside the wreath of flowers.
This classic black and white wedding invitation really sets the tone for their elegant event. We hope their big day is a beautiful affair for everyone there!
I have been visiting the High Line with my daughter since the week it opened in June 2009. It has been one of our favorite escapes in the city since that first visit. We love it year round. I like seeing which plants are in bloom and my daughter looks forward to the gelato and ice pops (ok, we both look forward to those). It was one of the highlights of my career then, to be invited to the Friends of the High Line office last spring to talk about a collaboration. They gave us a High Line Plant Guide, detailing the many gorgeous plants that bloom in the park throughout the year. Inspired, we created a set of letterpress coasters featuring vintage illustrations of ten of the flowers. These are now available on their website at www.thehighline.org/shop.
Although we have a lot of letterpress coasters around the house, this set if my favorite as it is a tiny part of the High Line in our home. Plus, it's really nice to have some flowers around in this frigid season.
Check out their website for history and photos of this amazing park and all the beautiful products for sale.
We're happy to debut a new set of deluxe stationery in our online shop! These lovely thank you cards are letterpress printed in rich black ink with gilded edges, making them extra luxurious. These cards make it easy to send a thoughtful thank you note.
You can pick up a set of 20 letterpress printed cards with matching blank envelopes in our online shop. They make great gifts, but we don't blame you if you want to keep them for yourself!
We don't know about you, but here in Brooklyn we're ready for spring. The thrill of historic snowstorms has come and gone and all we're left with are icy sidewalks and bitterly cold temperatures. Here are a few bright projects that we've printed recently that have us thinking of the blue skies and sunny days ahead.
Hopefully these bright images bring a little sunshine to your day or at least a smile to your face!
Letterpress coasters are such a fun way to commemorate an important event. They're great for any celebration, whether it be a 60th birthday party or an announcement for a wedding yet to come. They can be used as a cute keepsake for guests, as well as a nice way to protect your coffee table.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote for your next letterpress coaster project.
We print many custom stationery sets during the holiday. They make wonderful gifts, perfect for sending out thank you notes, post-holiday. Here are a few we particularly enjoyed designing and printing in 2014.
These notecards feature an assortment of blues and grays, perfectly matching the cloudy January sky.
Initials always look great in letterpress, whether they are small and sleek or larger and more decorative. Adding an image is a great idea, especially if it's as cute as this carefree rabbit taking a leap over such a fancy monogram.
We've been working with Chalk, a marketing and branding firm here in NYC for a couple of years. They recently asked us to print some of their redesigned business cards and we were impressed by how well they turned out. The bold indigo banner contrasts the bright white paper, making their logo quite striking.
It's always fun to bring another designer's vision to life, especially when it is as eye-catching as this. These letterpress business cards were a challenge to print, but will certainly make a good impression on their clients.
Nothing says I love you like a sweet, hand-written note and a really good box of chocolates. We've designed these red and gray cards with that thought in mind. The inspiration for this card, the Whitman's Sampler box, has been a Valentine's Day staple since 1912.
We encourage sending handwritten love notes all year long, but if there's one day a year to write to your paramour, this is it. These and more Valentine's Day cards are available on our website now!
This invitation suite is one of our favorite styles as it incorporates a rustic theme with an elegant design, befitting a wedding. All the pieces are printed in a charcoal gray which gives the set a formal appearance.
The pine cones on the information card accentuated the rural nature of their winter wedding. The bride and groom wanted their wedding suite to reflect their bucolic venue. The Cork Factory Hotel is in historic downtown Lancaster, PA in a building that once housed a cork and glass company.
We can just imagine relaxing cozily by a fire, in between the ceremony and the reception, with a hot toddy in hand. What a wonderful way to spend a December weekend!
This fall we designed and printed a beautiful set of art nouveau inspired wedding invitations for a couple in southern California. They started things off sweet with a bookmark sized Save the Date, printed in a warm gold and green combination.
The invitation features a delicate border of dark green vines that accent the fine lines in the type. A wreath-decorated home was the perfect image for their intimate reception.
The gold ribbon woven through the wreath is a sweet, little detail that makes this response card stand out. The simplicity of this letterpress wedding suite is what makes it such a nice sight. It's all in the details!
We recently remixed one of our tried and true, and a little blue wedding invitation designs. Ikat patterns are very popular, and we know why! This soft blue dot pattern is sweet and modern, perfect for a casual wedding. We can just imagine being at an intimate summer wedding by the sea.
We made a short video, documenting the process of printing this 2-color wedding invite. A word of warning; the sounds of the press clicking and clacking are slightly hypnotic and may cause drowsiness.
For the last four years, we've been letterpress printing our small boxed calendars and we think 2015 is our best, yet! Throughout the year, we set aside images that inspire us for our upcoming calendar and match them to the appropriate months. This new calendar features some of our favorites, such as the gray tea kettle in January, a turquoise March egg and a trio of bright April umbrellas. The set also includes a page to note your resolutions for the year. Whether you choose to display your resolutions with pride or keep them hidden (in case you fall back to your chocolate addiction) is up to you...
This year we added a second letterpress calendar to our collection. Inspired by a set of custom botanical coasters that we printed, this single sheet wall calendar features beautiful, vintage floral etchings. We kept it simple with rich, black ink on off-white butcher paper from French Paper Co. for an antique inspired design. We added a single line of gold foil type because we just couldn't resist a bit of shimmer this time of year.
Both calendars are available on our website shop. If you're looking for a sweet, last minute gift, we can wrap and send them directly to your loved ones.
We've been busy printing holiday cards these days and we figured we'd give you a peek into the process while we print our Ship Holiday card, which is one of our favorites. In case you couldn't tell, we're crazy about nautical themed goods! From whale gift tags to anchor note card sets, we've got it all. Our beloved Golding Jobber press came from a New England seaside town, so it seems fitting that it should be used for these projects.
We print the red portion of the card first (the boat and red lights), followed by the navy (you can see the plate for the navy in the photo above) and finally the green string of lights. Lining the layers of a card as precise as this one takes a keen eye and a bit of patience.
We hate to waste paper so we constantly reuse scraps for set up and registration while we perfect the prints. Sometimes the most interesting things happen by accident. The combination of the soft blue filigree and the navy ship on this piece of makeready really caught our eye.
We have lots of different letterpress holiday card sets available on our site, as well as some great nautical themed gifts for everyone on your list.