Designing Your Own Outline for Letterpress Printing

Letterpress Printing

Letterpress printing has this vintage and retro feel to it, which is why more people are getting drawn to this type of printing nowadays. You might have a special event coming up such as a wedding, birthday, or even starting a new business, and you are trying to design your own outline for your letterpress printing.

Below, we will discuss the things you should remember when designing the outline for your letterpress cards. You definitely have the option to have a professional do it for you, but if in case you want to do it yourself, you should make sure to apply these things.


Use Only Black and White

No matter what color you are planning on using for the actual printing project, you should first use black and white when it comes to designing and preparing the outline. You can either choose to use black paint or ink on a clean piece of paper or create the outline on Photoshop if you are more comfortable with using digital platforms.

Make sure to steer clear of blended gradations when creating the design. If you want to add a little bit of shading, then you would want to recreate how artists create light and shade or dark through cross-hatched lines in engravings.

Know the Size

Before outlining the design, you definitely have to know what size you’ll be printing first. A lot of letterpress printers these days use a platten press, which cannot print an area that is larger than 5 x 7″. A few printers have standard flatbed presses, which can handle about 12 x 18″. This is usually the largest size that you can go for when it comes to letter printing, so don’t go bigger than this. You should always ask the store or shop firsthand before going ahead with the final design and size.

Don’t Let it Be Too Thick

Letterpress printers usually cannot handle large solid areas with a lot of color, so don’t put too many of this on your design. If you want to do this, then you’d better go with screen printing instead. The reason behind this is that it is difficult to get even pressure and s good amount of ink over a huge surface when using letterpress printers. You wouldn’t even want to try, as the end result would most probably look splotchy.


Consistency is the Key

If you want the end result to be crisp and even, then it would be best if you could be consistent when it comes to the lines, shapes, colors, layers, and plates. You would want all of these to be approximately the same size and have exactly the same thickness. Going for different size and thickness will most likely make your design look uneven or even under inked, which will make the end result look awful.

Remember, if you need help with designing and printing, then remember to call a professional and have them do it instead. Besides, you’d want your designs and prints to look the best, especially since it is for your special day!


About The Author


Scroll to Top