DESIGN NOTES     INKS AND COLORS     FILE REQUIREMENTS

Whether you're working with us or planning an independent letterpress project, here are some important things to consider as you create your design.

If you're planning to work with us and have file questions, email custom@smudgeink.com! We’re always happy to answer your questions and the sooner you involve us in the process, the better the final result! We can assist help with file prep.

We also offer custom design services at an hourly rate. 

DESIGN NOTES

 For best results, do not use any lines thinner than 0.25 point (0.003”) or text smaller than 6 points.

Keep in mind that letterpress inks use a transparent base and will allow anything beneath them to show through. Inks will appear the truest when printed directly on white paper. When overprinting (overlapping colors) is utilized, colors will mix optically – overlapping blue and yellow will appear green. The multiply tool in Adobe software can show a rough indication of the results of any overlapping colors.

Inks will also mix optically with any colored paper they might be printed on. Typically, dark or metallic inks are best for colored papers as they appear the most opaque.

If including large areas or floods of ink in your design, be warned that letterpress is known to struggle with these large washes. If you understand, appreciate, and embrace the nature of letterpress, the unique “salty” appearance of the paper fibers showing through a heavy letterpress printed flood can work to your advantage. If this is not the aesthetic you desire, you should account for this in your design process or consider other printing methods.
In addition to their salty appearance, large areas of coverage also do not allow for a deep impression.

INKS AND COLORS 

Letterpress is a spot-color printing method. We print one solid color at a time and match colors to the Pantone Matching System (PMS) Solid Uncoated Formula Guide.

 Ink colors represented on you screen depend on your computer monitor display settings/calibration and may not depict an accurate match to printed inks. For this reason, we require that our custom clients specify inks as PMS Solid Uncoated colors.

 We cannot print percentages of a color. If designing digitally using percentages of a color, please specify a lighter PMS or use a halftone image.

FILE REQUIREMENTS

Submit your final designs as PDF, Illustrator, or InDesign files with trim marks and a 0.125” bleed. 
Specify colors as Solid Uncoated PMS colors.
Use layers to separate each color and additional process like scoring, die cutting, edge painting, etc.
Your intent to either knockout or overprint overlaying colors must be clearly indicated.
All text must be converted to outlines and non-vector images must be embedded as bitmaps at 100% size and 1200 dpi.
We do offer file prep services for an additional hourly rate.

 

PROOFING AND APPROVALS:

An electronic proof will be emailed to you as a color PDF showing exactly how your project will be printed according to your design files and specifications. We rely on you to proofread all items and to verify all information in order to make sure that everything is correct. This includes (but is not limited to) artwork, materials, colors, quantities, sizes, spelling, grammar, dates, phone numbers, addresses, and finishing options. Two rounds of revisions (three proofs) are included in your order. Further revisions will incur a fee of $50 per additional proof issued and may delay production. Design time required for additional proofs will be charged at an hourly rate. Your signature approval is required before we release your order for production. Smudge Ink is not liable for any errors on the final product after receiving your final approval. All errors represented in an approved proof are the full responsibility of the client. Should you choose to reprint due to errors that you approved, you are responsible for all costs of reprinting and shipping.