What is letterpress printing?

One of the oldest forms of printing.  In this instance, a surface with raised letters is inked and pressed on to the surface of the printing sheet. Imagine a piece of paper is laid out on top of the inked surface, pressure is then applied between the paper and inked surface and the process is repeated several times over.

Why does it take longer to print?

Setting up the letterpress requires a lot of time. Each colour is applied one at a time and the inked surface is washed and reset before each colour application. The process is repeated hundreds of times.

What is the best paper to use other than letterpress specific paper?

Letterpress specific paper is generally uncompressed and has a softer touch to it.

The reason behind using low density paper is so that there is more room to press in the letters/graphics and hence creating a deeper impression. Paper designed specifically for digital or offset generally has higher density, and therefore, when letterpressed, the impression is less visible.

How many colors can we print?

There is no limit to the amount of colors used in letterpress printing. However, each ink color will create one pass and each pass will require wastage and additional drying time. With an appropriate design, a multi-color letterpressed product can look amazing!

Can we print white ink on color stock?

Yes it is possible though we do not recommend it on letterpress.

Currently, there are multiple ways to print white (offset, UV white ink, white toner etc).

However, here at Unico we opt to print white with UV white ink or white dry toner to achieve the best results because white offset ink is opaque and hence it is difficult to achieve a 100% white impression unless triple printed.

Can we print full color "CMYK" on letterpress?

Definitely! However the file must be designed specifically in halftone and purposely built for 4 color printing.

I do not want to see the impression on the back side, is there a way to avoid that?

Of course, the simplest way to avoid this is by duplexing, which is putting two cards together to hide the side with the impression. This increases the thickness of the card and is especially recommended for those who prefer a more solid feeling to their business cards.

In your quotation, we will specify whether the paper stock is duplex or not.

For those of you who want to stand out even more, we can do triplex or more to create thicker card stock and even alternating colors in the edge of the card. For example, we’ve had one customer in the past who wanted to create an “Oreo” edge and we did so by triplexing two black cards with a white card in between. Ultimately, there is no limit to the maximum number of layers, only price is a factor.