Letterpress FAQ

Letterpress Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose letterpress printing?

Letterpress is new and old at the same time, is the revival of the traditional boosted with modern design. And ...it's so cute!

An image that you can feel, touch, sense the relief, shape, depth ... A heavy paper, textured, with cotton moisture and odor ...Rich, thick, organic ink ... If Letterpress were food it would be chocolate... and feel like velvet.

What can I print in letterpress?

Ideal for: wedding invitations with a twist, customized business cards, invitations ... It is also widely used in clothing labels and wines ... Or whatever you can think of you want to print.

Why letterpress is more expensive than other printing methods (digital or offset)?

Because letterpress is all hand-made.

In Letterpress we print one color at a time... Each color must be plated, set up, printed and after each color we must wash the machine to start with the new color.


Which is the maximum area you can print?

We can print 13 x 19 cm (5” x 7,5”).


What kind of paper do you use?

We print different kind of cotton papers ranging from 300 grams to 800. We also print on black cardboard, gray and brown, ranging from 30 to 40 pt.  (1 to 2 mm). Please check our paper catalog.


What kind of ink do you use?

We use oil-based & rubber-based printing inks and we hand mix each color as we need it.

Can I print as many colors as I want?

Yes, but as each color represents one pass through the printing press and each color must be plated, set up, printed and after each color we must wash the machine to start with the new color. Therefore we prefer to use 1 to 4 colors. In letterpress each color gets its own plate and colors are semitransparent, generating a cool transparency effect were overlapping.

Where can I choose the color ink I had in mind?

You can ask us for our Pantone Catalog an we will e-mail it to you. Just remember the color on your screen never looks exactly the same that the color on paper. All of our inks are hand mixed so we cannot guarantee exact Pantone matching colors. Please understand this is a handmade process. Because each piece is printed with antique printing equipment, you may notice slight variations in inking, color, shading, printing and position. These small variations are what make letterpress unique and beautiful.

Can you print with white ink?

No. We don't do white ink because letterpress white ink is not good enough for covering dark surfaces, it is a bit transparent and it doesn't look well. If you want white ink over dark paper you need hot stamping.

Can you print metallic inks?

Yes, we love metallic colors. Metallic inks are a notable for their opacity and will print opaque on colored papers. With the exception of metallic inks, letterpress inks are transparent. Silver ink is often our suggested substitution for designs that come to us with a white ink specified on a dark colored or black paper.

What inks can you use on black cardboard?

The only inks that work great are silver or gold, because of its metallic components that cover the surface much better, but not completely, the final look is opaque, not shiny. It is still a bit transparent and has a vintage look we love!

What is a blind impression?

A blind impression is one without ink.  It makes a deboss into the paper. Generally, we do not recommend a blind impression for small typography because it will not notice so well.


Can you paint edges in all the different papers?

Yes, we can almost on every paper.

We cannot do borders on rounded edges yet.


Can you print both sides?

We can definitely do colors on both sides but you have to keep in mind that depending on the design... when the second side is printed, it flattens a bit the front side (because of the press pressure) so the letterpress effect tends to disappear a little bit on the first side when that happens. Most of the times is better to have one side flat printed and the other one letterpressed.

Although we use thick paper stock, the letterpress embossing effect still shows on the back of the paper. Please keep this in mind when placing your order. If you mind about this, please make sure you order just 1 side printing. Letterpress is best when we can put a nice deep impression into the paper without much concern for the opposite side of the paper.


Can you print my own design?

Yes we can, please send it to us so that we can see if we can use it with this technique. We need the original in. ai file (illustrator).

In which format should I send you my files?

We need your files to be in vectorial format. Preferably illustrator files (.ai).

Can you help me customize my design?

We can help you customize your design and create several options for you until you decide which one suits best your needs.

We charge by the hour for design services. We will then of course send you the original artwork files for you to keep.

We also offer pre-designed templates, which are free of charge. You can check our catalogs if you prefer this option.

What shall I do before approving my order/design?

We strongly advice you to print the order page/s in order to check design details, font sizes, spelling or any other possible consideration you might have. Please check when printing that your page is set up at 100% (real size) so that you have an exact idea of how your job will look when printed. Once you approve this final order, Mil Letterpress is not responsible for any misspelling errors or design considerations. This means that if there's an error, there will be a full charge for re-printing the cards. Mil Letterpress will not give refunds for approved designs.