“As roller and plate and card collided, a bit of magic was created”.
First off, apologies… this isn’t a blog exactly, more a day trip to one of our favourite places which we’d like to share with you. We recently spent an afternoon with a local letterpress printer, Thomas Mayo, who we had commissioned to print notecards for us on his Heidelberg printing press. After tweaking the design a few times to make sure it fit the press (‘don’t go too close to the edges!’) we had our artwork made into a plastic plate which was stuck onto the press in exactly the right place to meet the paper when it was lifted up to meet it. (Apologies again, this isn’t a technical piece!).
When everything was lined up perfectly, Thomas added the ink – we had chosen a rather fetching shade of fluorescent orange which literally glowed!
Once the ink was applied to the rollers, it was a case of setting the ‘bite’ of the card hitting the plate to achieve that wonderful embossed feel that letterpress printing is famous for. We wanted as much as possible! When the settings had been adjusted, the machine was set to run – with Thomas keeping a keen eye on it as the old machine was a bit prone to spitting cards out unexpectedly if we weren’t watching. As roller and plate and card collided, a bit of magic was created.
The pristine Colourplan card from GF Smith Paper Merchants – blank and pure white – soon became a Boxcitement notecard – fluro and fab! – as it popped out of the printer. Thomas carefully laid out the piles of cards – already nearly dry but needing a bit more airing before they could be packed away. We watched our piles grow, some slightly brighter, some slightly paler as the ink was filled and re-filled, the ‘imperfections’ of a manual process that hasn’t changed in hundreds of years. After a couple of hours we had enough to fill our newest subscription box, and we were on our way.
Come and visit boxcitement to see our cards finished, wrapped and ready to be sent out in our latest boxes – we hope you love writing on them as much as we did creating them.