Letterpress Printing Process Photos
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Don’t always believe everything you read! We posted photos of Caroline’s completed business cards on friday (C McKeough UnLTD. Letterpress Cards) and promised to post photos we took while they were being printed. We weren’t able to photograph everything but got a good range of photos from proofs to printing to cutting. If we missed […]

C McKeough unLTD Production Photos

Don’t always believe everything you read!

We posted photos of Caroline’s completed business cards on friday (C McKeough UnLTD. Letterpress Cards) and promised to post photos we took while they were being printed. We weren’t able to photograph everything but got a good range of photos from proofs to printing to cutting. If we missed something you’d like to see let us know in the comments and we’ll try to include them in the the next production shoot we do.

C McKeough unLTD Production Photos

We use photopolymer plates for a majority of the jobs we run in the studio. With every plate we always check the proof, it’s much better to check for errors before you start printing! The proof is a quick print taken from the plate on thin smooth stock.

Once we’ve checked the proof, next the ink gets mixed.

C McKeough unLTD Production Photos C McKeough unLTD Production Photos
C McKeough unLTD Production Photos C McKeough unLTD Production Photos

We mix most of our ink by hand which involves combining mixing colors in the right proportion. Gray was the first color we mixed for Caroline’s cards. The color is a simple mix of white and black ink. We used opaque white (top-left) ¬†and neutral black ink to create the gray ink (top-right). Once mixed, the ink is put on the press and distributed (bottom-left/right).

We printed these cards on one of the 10×15 Heidelberg Windmills in the shop. Below is a photo of the chase with the photopolymer plate, an ink knife, rag, and a roller setting gauge.

C McKeough unLTD Production Photos

C McKeough unLTD Production Photos C McKeough unLTD Production Photos C McKeough unLTD Production Photos

Here is a closeup photo of the chase in the press with the plate inked with the gray color (above). As the first color is printed the sheets end up on the delivery side (below).

C McKeough unLTD Production Photos

C McKeough unLTD Production Photos C McKeough unLTD Production Photos

We shot a quick video of the cards being fed into the press and being delivered out of it and posted it on our youtube channel.


C McKeough unLTD Production Photos C McKeough unLTD Production Photos

We clipped a sheet to the windmill’s guard (above-left) to ensure consistent color throughout the run. Once the gray color was finished, we pulled out the chase and registered the plate for the second color. Since both plates have common crops, registration is a snap using a gridded base.

C McKeough unLTD Production Photos

The second color was a blind press (no ink) so we locked out the rollers and printed all of the sheets.

C McKeough unLTD Production Photos C McKeough unLTD Production Photos

As the cards were spit out of the press and on to the delivery side, we pilled them up by the paper cutter to be cut down.

C McKeough unLTD Production Photos C McKeough unLTD Production Photos
C McKeough unLTD Production Photos

Above and below are photos of the cards as we finished cutting them. The two photos above show the cards sitting against the back-gauge of the hydraulic cutter. The other photos were taken on the bed right after cutting.

C McKeough unLTD Production Photos C McKeough unLTD Production Photos C McKeough unLTD Production Photos

That’s all folks! Let us know what you liked and what we missed in the comments below. Stay tuned this week for business cards we printed for Heidi 5 Studios and more.