Tag Archive for 'colored'

Degree Six – Garment Tags and Business Cards

We like our printing aprons, but sexy and sustainable clothing fits nicely with letterpress too. We were asked to designed and produced these new garment tags and business cards for new LA based label – Degree Six Clothing. And they are sexy indeed, but in an earthy conscious sort of way.

They create garments with consciously produced fabrics, so for our part we used a fully recycled material for the project.  Notable is the 100% recycled 80pt book board. Also, the cards are long and narrow – only half the size of a typical business card. We worked with the Hot Snot screen printing shop to put down our fluorescent green plant pattern on sheets of the book board. Since screen printing ink is opaque, we got a nice bright green color on the darker colored board. Then we letterpress printed metallic 877 for the text. Screen printing does well on a lot of things, but it does not like tiny type. The tags were hole punched, trimmed to size and edge colored with the signature fluorescent green Degree Six color. The board thickness is great for flashing a glimpse of the accent edge coloring. Can wait to see them in stores soon.

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Old Red Hat Letterpress Business Cards

Scott Ray uses his favorite lid as his design monicker. He designed these cards using a colored paper stock and two inks. This card represents a couple really good ways to use ink on colored paper stock. Using a colored paper is a great way to get a

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solid splash of color in a letterpress project without laying down a bunch of ink. But moving to darker colored papers presents challenges in printing. “Opaque” white ink really isn’t a great option since it really isn’t very opaque. With the exception of metallic inks, letterpress inks are transparent. So we used a metallic silver to print the lighter colored text. The tone-on-tone effect of printing a dark red ink on red stock is another great way to use ink on colored paper. The stock is 100lbC French Poptone which was custom duplexed to a double thick 200lb cover weight for a sturdy “thump factor”. _0000_oldredhat_cards _0001_oldredhat_type_detail

Six Degrees Of Colored Paper

Since letterpress doesn’t do a great job flooding a page with ink, designers must come up with production alternatives to bring in big areas of color. One of the things that can be done when designing for letterpress is combining

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different colored paper stocks. This works especially well for projects with multiple pieces that need to coordinate – like stationery systems, wedding invitations, etc. Our previous post on the Ocean House system shows a splash of color added to the back of everything via offset printing. Adding a contrasting paper stock for pieces like envelopes and cards can be a more cost effective production solution to still add color to letterpress and avoid offset (or “flat” printing as people call it when comparing to letterpress) This system designed over at Space150 by Jason Strong brings color to the system by adding a couple contrasting papers. We printed the same letterpress ink color on the white stock and then the burgundy colored stock for the envelopes. This creates a tone-on-tone effect that remains legible and adds a nice texture. A smaller note card in a pink stock also matches the pink ink used throughout the pieces. The business cards are on thick 220lb Crane Lettra, which does an excellent job eliminating the impression show through of a two sided card. _0002_sixdegrees_system _0008_sixdegrees_tone_on_tone

Black Paper: White Vs. Silver Inks

Here is an image comparison of “opaque” white ink to silver ink. We did this little letterpress test to illustrate why opaque ink really isn’t opaque.

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Note: The small type in these images is about 4 point serif type.

We offer letterpress services to designers around the country and are constantly asked to print white ink on black paper. You can see above that it does not look crisp and bright like you might expect it to.  The conversation we have with designers goes something like this:

-  Can I have white ink printed on my black paper?

Yes, but it will not be opaque like you might expect.

-  What will it look like?

Sort of whitish blue and blotchy and with a bit of ink squeeze on the edges.

-  Oh, why doesn’t it just print white?

Opaque white ink for letterpress and offset printing is actually not very opaque.

-  Why is there ink squeeze?

A thicker film of ink must be run on press to achieve any sort of opacity. When the ink is run thick on letterpress, you get ink squeezing out at the edge of the artwork.

-  Can you do anything to get it to print up better?

We can run the paper through twice. The first pass is run with almost no ink and heavy impression. The second pass is run with heavy ink and just a kiss impression. This allows the white ink to sit right on the surface of the paper. It is not a very nice bright white, more of a blueish white.

-  Does twice through the press mean I’ll pay more?

Of course.

-  What do you recommend?

Print a metallic ink. Unlike opaque white ink, metallic ink is actually opaque. One hit of metallic ink can get good coverage on dark colored stock. A double pass of the metallic ink can even offer a nice sheen.

-  How about yellow or pink, will that work on black paper?

Nope, this goes for all inks of a lighter color printing on darker colored stock. The stock affects the color of the ink. Colors printing on dark colored papers will not be opaque.

-  How can I know what my ink color will look like printed on a colored paper.

We recommend using the “multiple” filter in Adobe Illustrator. It isn’t a perfect match but does give a good approximation.

-  Is there another printing method that can print opaque white?

Silkscreen Printing – but small details can suffer.

Foil Stamping – but small details can suffer.

Engraving – but the size and nature of the artwork is limited. And the cost is $$$.

-  Can you engrave it for me?

We do only letterpress printing services and some small foil stamping work. We do not do engraving. We partner with another vendor for engraving services when there is engraving combined with letterpress printing.

-  Hmm, maybe metallic ink will work for me…

Great, we are glad you understand!