Author Topic: Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress  (Read 4018 times)

Offline Erica McPhee

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Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress
« on: December 23, 2013, 01:14:50 PM »
I wasn't sure about putting this here or show and tell but decided there was enough project info to put it here!

I am excited to share my holiday cards for this year. Originally, I had intended to do a reverse print and have a letterpress printer print them. However, I ran out of time (as I often do)! And so didn't allow enough time for the printer. I did have enough time though to have a plate made thanks to the super fast turn around by Elum Designs (http://www.elumdesigns.com/). Elum also had no problem making the plates from my photoshop file. (Darn Illustrator! I will conquer you yet!)

A special thank you, though to Boxcar Press http://www.boxcarpress.com/. Their blog is amazing and their customer service is great. I know I would not have had nearly the results without their fabulous blog posts on using the L Letterpress - here:  http://www.boxcarpress.com/letterpress-machine/ and here: http://www.boxcarpress.com/blog/tag/l-letterpress/.

When the L Letterpress came out a lot of printers were up in arms that it would degrade the quality of letterpress. But I am impressed and pleased with how some have embraced it and have gone above and beyond in helping others learn how to use it to its best potential!

So, now for the fun part. I did the calligraphy (including the snowflake flourish) and then scanned it into Photoshop. I sent the file off for a plate. Here is the plate:



I did like the tutorial said and used the edges as a guide. This was SOOO important in helping ink better! Last time I didn't do this and it made a HUGE difference!



I also made a guide for the paper. This made it so easy!


I took the tutorial very literally and used a very small amount of ink:


Turns out, it wasn't enough.  :(


So I tried again with more ink:


And voila:


Closeup:


Not as consistent as a professional printer would do, but I was extremely pleased! This was also a test for me to see how fine I could go and still maintain lines. You can see the lines of the snowflake are slightly smudged together. I don't mind but for a client, I would caution against going that fine.

How they were mailed out after adding a few touches:
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Calligal

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Re: Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2013, 01:39:39 PM »
Thank you for sharing the process with us Erica. I love your lettering and card design, beautiful! Now I might have to buy the letterpress machine, it looks like fun and pretty good quality too.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2013, 02:14:05 PM »
Thanks! I might consider this one though, as it diecuts at the same time!

http://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-100770-1001-Fuse-Letterpress-Starter/dp/B008JYC2OQ
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Sharon

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Re: Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2013, 10:18:51 PM »
Your card is beautiful! This is so tempting but I'm trying to downsize all the crafty projects I'd ever want to do. So many great projects, so little time unfortunately. I love what you created though!

Offline Emily

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Re: Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2013, 09:24:53 AM »
Very cool, it turned out beautiful!

Offline Perfectsettings

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Re: Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2013, 06:34:15 PM »
Literally took my breath away.  Very beautiful.
Daisy
Lover of all things beautiful.

Offline Sherry Lu

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Re: Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2013, 07:31:09 PM »
Holy moly, that is amazing! :) I love letterpress and I hope to get to try my hand at it someday soon! :D

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2013, 08:42:10 PM »
Thanks Sharon, Emily, Daisy, and Sherry! I had a lot of fun making this. I am so surprised at how well the printing comes out of that little gadget!
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline gidgetinCA

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Re: Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2013, 11:45:24 AM »
gorgeous.
I love it & the process.
plus the added glitz-so fun!
{ I want to be on your c. card list  ;) }

Erica, I truly luv e'thing here~ my new hangout; soaking up all the intel.
TY TY TY
off to practice-

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2013, 12:13:25 PM »
Thank you!!!  :) Next year be sure to join the holiday card exchange! Everyone who did received this card.

We will be doing a Valentine's Exchange, soon! I am going to get working on my design soon.

Your message made my day!  :D
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Roseann

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Re: Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2013, 02:44:20 AM »
Hi Erica,
I had so much fun with the Christmas card exchange. 
Can you please sign me up for the Valentine Exchange.  So fun.

Love,
Roseann
Roseann

The world is so full of a number of things, Im sure we should all be as happy as kings.   R. L. Stevenson

Offline Sarah Foutz

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Re: Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2015, 11:54:48 PM »
Learning letterpress has been on my bucket list for quite some time now, (right up there with going on the Amazing Race, lol). I even looked into taking a course on a bona fide c&p machine, but then my rational brain kicked in!! So, I LOVE all your information. You mentioned somewhere else that you might be able to do a tutorial with the fiskars version--I would absolutely be up for that--do you own it? Just wondering if i were to bite the bullet which one you'd recommend for a beginner. This looks like so much fun!! Where do you get your luxurious paper that you use for pressing? Also, for every project do you have to send images to a 2nd party to get the plate made? How long does the process take (the actual pressing)? And what is the work load that the press can handle do you think?Sorry for so many questions, I can't help myself!! :)
Sarah Pearl Foutz
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Offline JanisTX

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Re: Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2015, 01:52:34 PM »
Erica,

About how much does getting the plate made cost??  Is it really cost affordable?  How long is the turnaround on the plate? 

Also, I noticed at Joanne's that the Fiskar's dye cuts and supplies are marked down 70%.  Usually, they only do that if it's being discontinued.  So, I'm wondering if Fiskars is getting out of the letterpress business!  I picked up some things that I think I will use in the L Letterpress!

Thanks for more information!

Janis

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2015, 02:06:49 PM »
You mentioned somewhere else that you might be able to do a tutorial with the fiskars version--I would absolutely be up for that--do you own it?
Just wondering if i were to bite the bullet which one you'd recommend for a beginner.
Where do you get your luxurious paper that you use for pressing?
Also, for every project do you have to send images to a 2nd party to get the plate made?
How long does the process take (the actual pressing)?
And what is the work load that the press can handle do you think?

Great questions!

- I don't have the fiskars version. I have the L Letterpress. There wasn't much interest in the tutorial so I let it go. But I can revisit!
- I like the looks of the fiskars brand and they are usually a solid product.
- All over the place. I have a huge stash of stationary and art paper I have collected over the years. But there are several online places that carry paper. You can google "letterpress paper" for ideas.
- Yes, if you aren't using premade template plates, you have to have a custom plate made. It's very easy. I just prepare a photoshop file like I do for printing invitations. Some printers ask for an Illustrator file but I've always been able to use a PSD.
- The plate comes back in about a week and a half. The actual pressing goes surprisingly quick. You print each individual piece but once you get into the swing, you can fly right through them. I usually run out of paper well before I want to stop printing!
- I think it is pretty sturdy for small projects. I don't think you could run a business using just that press. But for smaller quantities, it will probably last quite some time. I've printed around 100 each time I've used it and it's no worse for the wear.

Hope that helps!
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Letterpress at home with the L Letterpress
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2015, 02:11:09 PM »
Erica,

About how much does getting the plate made cost??  Is it really cost affordable?  How long is the turnaround on the plate? 

Also, I noticed at Joanne's that the Fiskar's dye cuts and supplies are marked down 70%.  Usually, they only do that if it's being discontinued.  So, I'm wondering if Fiskars is getting out of the letterpress business!  I picked up some things that I think I will use in the L Letterpress!

The plates are really reasonable. I try to gang up a couple of different designs so I get my money's worth when I send in. But I know I've never paid over $25 and that's for several designs at once. Most were around $12-$15 if memory serves.

The plate only takes a couple days to make and then the shipping time. Faster than you would think!  :D

Interesting about the Fiskar's die cuts. That would stink if they are already discontinued. I thought these home machines would be super hot and they didn't really seem to catch on. Must be a much smaller niche market than they anticipated. It is a pretty labor intense and involved process. But for anyone who loves letterpress I think it's perfect!

I know Debi Zeinert just announced the Penman's Press which is a small letterpress specifically for calligraphers. I can't wait to see all the details!
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook