a day in the life of a smudge ink greeting card: part one
by admin on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
Given that we are a working studio, we thought it would be fun to share with you the process of how we make our greeting cards. Our fondness for letterpress printing is part of why we started this business, so it’s only appropriate that we share some letterpress love.
Once we’ve determined a card must be printed, there are a series of steps we go through to produce it, not to mention package and send it off to our retailers. In this first post, we’ll show you how we set up the press in preparation for printing and how we run the first color.
After we’ve determined how many cards to print of a specific design, we cut the parent sheets (large format paper) to smaller run size sheets (smaller format paper fit to run through the press but not the final size). Next, we use a measuring guide to determine where the first color should land on the run sheet.
We then take the polymer plate for the first color and adhere it to the base. Now it’s time to add the ink — we’re using warm grey for this particular card. The ink is applied through the ink fountain at the back of the press, a heidelberg windmill that we affectionately call Heidi. Once the ink is ready to go, the base is locked into the chase and set into the press. The pins that guide the paper during the run must be adjusted so they don’t get crushed by the base. Be sure to say hello to Christopher, Emily’s feline friend.
Now it’s time to take the first pull to see if the image is landing where we want it to. We do this several times and make many small adjustments so the card is printing perfectly in regard to color, impression and registration. Once it’s good to go, we prepare the stack of paper for the run. Adding air to the stack makes it easier for the press to suction the paper into the press.
We begin the run and monitor it carefully to make sure the color, impression and registration remain consistent. After the run is over, the stack is set side until it’s time to print the second color.
In the next post, we’ll cover the second color, trimming and scoring. Stay tuned!…and thanks for reading.
Tags: birthday cards, chase, eb goodale, heidelberg cylinder, letterpress greeting cards, letterpress love, letterpress printing, photopolymer plate
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