Print With Us

If you are coming to us with your own design and would like an estimate, please email us, providing the following for each printed piece:

  • A pdf of the design (a rough version is fine)
  • Number of pieces (i.e. wedding invite + RSVP card + printed envelopes)
  • Quantity needed of each piece
  • Size of each piece
  • Number of ink colors on each side (black ink and blind impression each count as an ink color)
  • Type of paper stock (we know not everyone is a paper expert but a general idea of paper color, texture and thickness is extremely helpful)
  • Additional services requested (i.e. edge painting, die cutting)

We’ll get back to you as soon as possible with an initial estimate.

File formatting

Below are some guidelines for setting up your files for platemaking.

  • Adobe Illustrator or Illustrator-compatible files are preferred (.ai, .pdf or .eps). InDesign files are also acceptable.
  • Outline all fonts (Type > Create Outlines).
  • Include crop marks.
  • Set files in solid, uncoated Pantone spot colors or 100% black. There should be no process colors in your file.
  • Vector images are preferred. Photographic images should be as high of a resolution as possible, bitmapped and/or embedded.
  • All files should be at 100% scale.
  • Any object that you’d like to bleed off the edge of the paper must be setup with a 1/8” (.125”) bleed.
  • Files less than 10MB can be emailed to letterpress@swayspace.com. For larger files, send us a link to a dropbox or share a Google Drive document.
  • Files that do not meet these requirements will not be accepted. If we need to fix your files, you may be charged additional fees.

Fine lines and small dots

We can only guarantee a line weight of .35 pt and up. However, there are some circumstances in which a plate can hold thinner lines. We’ll be happy to look at your design and assess its suitability for the letterpress process.

Dotted or dashed lines must be at least 1pt in thickness.

Dots should be at least 1.25 points in diameter. This includes dots on the ‘i’s and periods in your typeface.

For some great letterpress design tips, check out this page put together by our friends at Boxcar Press.

Color matching

We can color match an existing printed piece or a Pantone color, but not a CMYK or RGB value.

If you are bringing us a printed sample, keep in mind that the paper color and the printing process (offset versus letterpress) can affect the appearance of the ink.

If you would like us to match a Pantone color, just make sure you look at a physical uncoated Pantone swatch book when you’re choosing your color. We cannot match a Pantone color from a computer screen, as the appearance varies from screen to screen.

If the exact color is important for your project, make sure to schedule a press check to approve the color on press.

Press checks

We encourage artists and designers to come in for at least one press check to approve ink color and to make decisions about the depth of impression and ink coverage.

We can give you an approximate date for the press check upon receipt of your digital files and deposit. We will confirm a specific date and time within a few days. You will likely need to be available in the early afternoon on a weekday, but we are happy to work with you in advance to schedule a time that fits your schedule.

At the press check you will be shown several options for impression and ink coverage along with an explanation of the technical factors involved in your project. We will continue to explore options with you on the press to achieve a satisfying outcome. We’ll ask you to sign off on an approved proof, at which point you’re free to go.

Our equipment

  • Vandercook #4 Proofing Press
  • Vandercook SP-20 Proofing Press
  • 8 x 12 C&P platen press
  • 10 x 15 C&P platen press
  • Challenge Guillotine
  • Board Shear
  • Selected wood type
  • Metal type

    Maximum paper size: 19½ × 28″
    Maximum artwork size: 18 × 22″