Behind the Scenes of a Letterpress Card

At Ramona & Ruth, we print many of our products in-house on one of our two letterpress machines. Today I thought I would share with you a little peek behind the scenes at the life of a letterpress card.


No. 1: Initial Card Sketches

All of our designs start with a sketch in a notebook.


holiday sketches


No 2: Printing Plates

Once the designs are finalized, they are sent to a platemaking company to be turned into printing plates. Each color of the greeting card requires a separate printing plate.


No. 3: Ink Mixing

It is now time to prepare the ink for printing. Each color is mixed by hand to achieve the desired color. Once the color is correct, it is then applied to the printing press. The press prints one color at a time. A multiple color card is run through the press multiple times.

letterpress ink


heidelberg windmill inking


No. 4: Press Setup

Next, the press needs to be set up for printing. Many adjustments need to be considered including the amount of ink on press, the card size, the height of the ink rollers, and the many adjustments for smoothly feeding the cards through the press.

heidelberg windmill letterpress


Step 5: Final Product

Once each color of the card design–usually two or three colors–has been run through the press, the cards are printed and ready to be trimmed, scored, and folded. Next, cards are paired with their envelopes and packaged into sleeves. They are now complete and ready to be shipped to customers!

letterpress cards


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