Letterpress
Business Cards » FAQ

The Distillery Letterpress Printing

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you print white on black-paper stock cards?

Yes and no : )

It is not possible to produce opaque white ink onto black and dark paper stocks. The reason is that dark paper stocks show through white and light colour inks. Even with several print passes, white ink becomes a mottled bluey-grey colour.

It is however possible to foil print white onto black and dark paper stocks. Similar to toner in digital printing, foil stamped print sits on top of the paper stock.

Can I achieve deep impression on both sides of my card?

Yes, some paper stocks are thick enough and well suited to deep printing impression (deboss) on both sides of the card stock. Other paper stocks are too thin to support deep impression, without compromise or show-through to the other side of the card.

Deep impression support on both sides of the card: Crane Lettra 600gsm, Gmund Cotton 500gsm, GF Smith Colorplan 540gsm.

Deep impression support on one side of the card only, with moderate impression on other side: Coaster board 390gsm, Buffalo Board 332gsm.

Deep impression support on one side of the card only: Crane Lettra 300gsm.

Are solid non-white coloured paper stocks available?

Yes, for the first time in Australia, The Distillery are excited to be offering GF Smith’s Colorplan from November 2012. Colorplan offers a large palette of solid paper colours in three flexible weights.

Our shipment of Colorplan is currently on a boat, somewhere in between the UK and Sydney.

Why can’t regular papers be used for letterpress?

Regular paper stocks have two major problems for letterpress- they either contain sizing, and/or paper fibres are too hard and rigid to support impression into the paper.

Sizing is a thin clear coating which helps reduce run inkjet ink, and improve accuracy of digital toner. Sizing can tend to affect the crispness of letterpress rubber based inks pressed into the paper stock.

Most pulp based papers contain tree fibres which are too rigid to permanently hold printing impression into the paper. When we press into these papers stocks, the impression simply bounces back out! The result is a smudged, not so good looking effect.

How long does it take for letterpress business cards to be produced?

The Distillery are pleased to be one of the fastest turnaround letterpress studios in the world.

With our standard service your cards will usually be ready for collection on average within 10-15 working days. We will stay back overnight and complete your cards usually within 72 hours with our overtime express service.

How do I set up my artwork?

Please refer to our Artwork Setup guide.

Is edge colouring service available on cards not letterpress printed by The Distillery?

Yes, we offer edge colouring on business cards not printed or produced by The Distillery. Depending on the paper stock, production technique and quality, the results sometimes look very nice.

Please understand however, due to the high level of complexity and variables involved, we do not ever guarantee a successful outcome, and may accidentally ruin your business cards during the process. In choosing this service, you are essentially rolling the dice. But hey, life is supposed to be exciting : )

We require completion of a disclaimer, and payment made in advance. Results cannot be undone, and The Distillery will not be responsible for unsuccessful outcomes.

What is the difference between die cut and laser cut finishing options?

Both die cutting and laser cutting have their benefits and disadvantages for custom shaping business cards.

Die cutting is a better option for simpler shapes and cutting paths, over longer runs. We run die-cutting through our Heidelberg presses, and registration accuracy is highly consistent and reliable. Custom die cut shapes require production of a custom “knife” (incidentally, produced by a laser cutter) which involves a cost of $200+.

Laser cutting is a better option for complex shapes and cutting paths, over shorter runs. Laser cutting is performed by laying sheets flat in our cutter, and registration accuracy from sheet to sheet is not as accurate. While a knife is not required, one important aspect to consider is that the laser beam leaves a visible paper burn on the paper that will remain with your finished piece.

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