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FAQs

What is letterpress printing?

Letterpress is a form of relief printing. A raised surface is inked and then pressed into the paper. Traditionally wood or metal type and cuts were used but today we use photopolymer plates, which can be made from digital files. Colors are printed one at a time and our presses are cleaned and calibrated by hand.

Can I submit my own design?

Yes! We love working with folks to bring their designs to life and will gladly accept your press ready artwork. Please email printing@saplingpress.com for file setup guidelines.

What is your turnaround time?

Our turnaround time is about 3 weeks from when we receive the project’s final artwork and 50% deposit. Depending on our workload, we can often turn things around faster. Jobs that need to be finished in 5-7 days will be subject to a 25% rush fee.

What type of paper do you use?

Our house paper and envelopes are Crane’s Lettra, which is a beautiful cotton paper that comes in varying weights and three shades of white. Cotton paper is great for letterpress printing because it absorbs the ink well and gets a great impression. If you have something else in mind, we’re happy to help you source other stocks.

Can you print metallic ink?

Yes, but metallic letterpress inks only have a slight sheen and are not shiny. If you’re thinking shiny, you’ll want foil stamping, which unfortunately we don’t offer at this time.

Can you print white ink on black paper?

No, this is usually another job for foil stamping. Letterpress ink is transparent by nature so you are always able to see the shade of the paper through the ink. White ink on black paper looks almost blue and not bright white. We recommend using silver ink if you would like to print on black paper.

Can I get a custom ink color?

Yes, we mix all of our ink in house by hand for each project. We can mix to match a paper sample or an uncoated PMS number provided. Certain inks, like metallics and fluorescents, cannot be mixed in house but we’re happy to order you a can of custom ink for an additional fee.

What are your standard stationery sizes?

We can make things almost any size you want but ballpark estimates are based on the following paper/envelope sizes.

Invite + Announcement :: 5x7/A7
Notecards :: 4.25x5.5/A2
Reply cards :: 3.5x4.75/4bar
Business cards :: 2x3.5

What’s the largest size you can print?

It really depends on your project and which press would be the best fit for it. The largest piece of paper that our presses can handle is a little larger than 11x17 with a smaller print area.

Can you do a full bleed or large area of coverage?

Large areas of coverage often have a “salty” appearance because of the transparent nature of letterpress ink. You are always able to somewhat see the paper through the ink. Large areas of coverage are also more difficult to control and will often have more color variation between each piece. This look works great with certain designs that don’t require a large opaque block of color. We have plenty of samples to share if this sounds like something that would work for your design.

Do you offer guest addressing?

No, though we can recommend some calligraphers!

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