Creating a design for you

I charge $50/hr for the design consult time for print clients, but you’re welcome to create your own design if you are familiar with Illustrator or InDesign.

If you’re in the Portland area, you have the option of coming to my office to be there with me to give input along the way.  It makes the process go a lot faster, makes for better, clearer communication, and lets you feel like you’re more a part of the designing process.  Before the design meeting, I recommend you pin pictures of other invites/cards you like on a Pinterest board (or email me pictures of ones you see online), so I can get a better sense of what you want to aim for.  Doing a Google search for letterpress cards or taking a look at the photo gallery on my website will be good places to find examples you can share with me to give me a sense of the style you want.

If you’re not local or don’t have time to meet, I can just send you a digital file of the proof and edit it until it fits your vision.  I can give you a quote on that once I have a better idea of the kind of design you’d want.

Some tips on how to make a letterpress-friendly design:

- It’s best to design your files in Adobe Illustrator or InDesign, vectorize all images, and and convert all fonts to outlines (see directions below), and send to me as a PDF.  If you don’t know how to use Illustrator or don’t have it, you can design it in Photoshop and send it to me and I can try converting it, but just know that it may look a little bit different, depending on how complex your design is.

– To outline your fonts in Illustrator or InDesign, select all of your text with the Selection Tool (black arrow), go to the “Type”  drop-down menu and select “Create Outlines”.

- Your graphic should be made of lines, or fills that will print solidly, not something that resembles pencil shading.

- A minimum line weight of .35 pt for all line art to prevent broken lines in printing.  The space between lines also needs to be at least .35pt.

- Text or line work within fills should not be finer than .5pt in thickness.

- You don’t want to have an area that requires a large amount of solid ink and an area with fine lines on the same item you are printing (this includes fonts), unless they are going to be different colors and therefore require a separate run, anyway, where I can adjust the amount of pressure and ink.  If you do have this combination in your design, just know that the area with the large solid part won’t be super opaque – it will potentially have a bit of a printed-by-hand look.

- The largest size image my press can accommodate is 8” x 13”. The larger the image though, the less of an impression you'll get.

- If you are not giving me a sample of the color of ink that you want (can even be a color sample from a paint store), please tell me what Pantone color(s) you’d like.

– Keeping all artwork at least 1/8” away from the edge of the paper will avoid the need for a post-print trim (and the extra cost that goes along with that).  But feel free to incorporate a full bleed if you want to – just know you’ll pay a little extra for it.

- Letterpress inks are not super opaque, so printing light colors on dark paper is not advisable unless you’re looking for silver/gold ink on black paper.

- About 2-sided printing:
220# paper is recommended for 2-sided printing. Keep in mind that the impression is more shallow with 2 sided printing to prevent the impression showing through on the other side.   Plus, the first side that’s printed gets the impression knocked out of it a bit when the second side is printed (especially if there are thick lines or fills on both sides). You can pick which side is printed second.

-Any questions about what any of this means, feel free to email me!