We understand that our print methods can be tricky to get your head around. For that reason, we’ve put together some of our most frequently asked questions and also put together some tips to help you through the process. If you’re still a bit bamboozled, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com. Try to get in touch as early in the process as possible, and we can help you make the most of our processes.
Like our design work, our print processes + finishing are completed in-house, in our factory We own several machines to do this, and are always adding to our collection – especially the antique pressure based machines we first fell in love with. For jobs that fall outside our scope, we have a select group of local, like-minded printers with supreme attention to detail we love to use.
Once artwork is approved, we’ll get the print process started. Typically our turnaround is 10 days, but in busy periods and for more complex finishing, it can take up to 14 business days to complete the work.
Yes we do. Rush jobs will incur additional costs however, as we have to pull other jobs from the press to make this happen. This can be quoted on a case by case basis, if you can give us the low-down on your required delivery date, we can work it up for you.
Unlike photocopier style digital or offset printing, our letterpress + foil stamping print one colour at a time, requiring a separate printing plate for each colour and more hands on attention while printing. It’s always helpful to know how much you are hoping to spend so that we can put together options that will fit within your print budget.
To help keep the Love Lives Here Collection at a more affordable price, the number of included changes are limited to 1 set of type (spelling, grammar + punctuation) changes from the initial proof. We are happy to make other changes, but the job then falls into the custom design category. Please feel free to contact us in regards to our custom design service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course we do, it’s where we started! We operate an in-house design studio and are happy to be able to offer you any design service. Custom design starts at $300, inclusive of an initial briefing consultation to go over the finer details of what you require. To find out more, email us at email@example.com.
Generally, our wedding customers spend around 4-5 weeks to complete the process. This is loosely based on 2 weeks in creative + 2-3 weeks in the print process. The design stage can take less or more time depending on the thoroughness of the initial brief and amount of changes required.
Our advice is to get your invitations out to your guests 2 – 3 months before your big day. Based on these timings, we advise you are best to contact us around 5 months before your event, but we are happy to take bookings 12 months in advance. For custom design jobs, please allow more time for the design process.
Absolutely! Working with other designers is a major part of our day to day. We value your designs and print them with all the care we would our own. Contact us for a guide to setting up design files for letterpress & foil.
Please feel free to email through designs in their conceptual stages and we can provide guidance to get the best out of letterpress & foil.
We email all proofs via PDF and it is your responsibility to approve. Please check carefully that all details on the proof are correctly listed. PDF proofs are generally provided to our clients within 1 – 3 business days. After you have approved in writing your projects starts its journey in production. Plates are made, stock is ordered, cut and then the presses are fired up. For this reason, changes required after approval, will incur additional production costs.
Our letterpress + foil processes are done one colour at a time. So this means for every new colour within the design, a separate plate, a new ink mixing or foil ordering + cutting, a separate application & letterpress wash up is required. We don’t have a restriction on quantity of colours, however your allocated budget might. Put simply the more colours, the more expensive. For bulk runs we are happy to discuss discount options.
Dependant on you location, we send via courier or Express Post. Due to the nature of our product, we cannot send to a Post Office Box. Unless otherwise specified by you, we generally require a signature upon delivery. If you’d rather stop by and pick them up, we can also arrange a time and day for that.
In short, no. We currently work out of a factory full of printing beasts, noisy and dirty to say the least. While we do not offer drop in visits, we do offer appointment based consultations for Custom Design jobs. For our Love Lives Here Collection, we can send out samples and chat by email if required.
We use the following presses:
Heidelberg T – Platen for Letterpress & Die-cutting
Maximum sheet size 260 x 380mm / Image Area 225 x 300mm
Heidelberg GT – Platen for Foil Stamping & Die-cutting
Maximum sheet size 340 x 460mm / Image Area 315 x 430mm
Chandler & Price Hand Fed for Letterpress & Die-cutting
Maximum sheet size 254 x 380mm / Image Area 225 x 300mm
Digital Production Printer
Maximum sheet size 320 x 450mm / Image Area 300 x 430mm
Any proofs requested will be supplied by email as a PDF. It will include artwork to be printed along with basic information like paper stocks, colours, print methods + embellishments and quantities. We generally supply these PDF files within 24 hours of receiving your order and artwork. Production will not start until you send back the confirmation. Once we receive your approval, production commences immediately.
Please note – if you have any changes to your finished artwork after approval, let us know immediately. Due to the nature of our print methods and where we are in the print process, we may not be able to offer any discount on the full cost of reprinting.
We use the Adobe CC Suite and are diligent with updates. We prefer to receive your files as native, layered Adobe Illustrator or Adobe InDesign files for production so we can separate elements for platemaking our processes. This is easily achieved by choosing to “File > Package…” from either Adobe Illustrator or Adobe InDesign.
Before packaging your document;
• Please be sure that all fonts have been converted to outlines or curves
• Please be sure that the colour modes of the document as well as any linked imagery for printing are set to CMYK
• Please be sure that all Letterpressed elements are supplied in PANTONE+ Solid Uncoated
• Please be sure to indicate Foil Stamped elements with descriptive Spot colours
Alternatively, we do accept Acrobat PDF files. However, these are not as easily used to create your printing plates.
Please be sure to make sure your artwork is print ready, as we charge finished artwork out at $150 per hour (minimum of 1 hour) for any changes we need to make your artwork compatible before printing.
Minimum font size 6pt (depending on the font – it should measure 0.35pt / 0.13mm across the thinnest solid section)
Minimum font size – Reversed out of colour 8pt (depending on the font, the bolder the better)
We recommend increasing Tracking 25 – 50pt to allow the impression of individual letters to show
All text converted to curves/outlines.
Minimum font size 8pt (depending on the font – it should measure 0.35pt / 0.13mm across the thinnest solid section)
Minimum font size – Reversed out of colour 10pt (depending on the font, the bolder the better)
We recommend increasing Tracking 25 – 50pt to allow the impression of individual letters to show
All text converted to curves/outlines.
We don’t really have minimum font sizes for Digital Print. We do, however, recommend printing a copy out for yourself on your office/home printer at 100% of actual size. Please do not expect colour matching to this proof, you should only use it for placements and sizings. If it is legible on your print out, it will be legible in our Digital Print. As long as you follow resolution and other suggestions in this document, your document should output well.
Stroke weight should be at least 0.35pt / 0.13mm or greater – including any elements at their thinnest solid point
Dot size should be at least 0.5pt / 0.18mm or greater – including punctuation points
Any non-vector, solid fill elements should be provided as Bitmap TIF files at a minimum of 800dpi (1,200dpi is recommended) at 100% of it’s printed size. If using hand illustrated line work, all images should be scanned and converted to vectors in a program like Adobe Illustrator. You can do this manually or by using the “Image Trace” feature.
We can print halftone photographic images in Letterpress, just think of greyscale newspaper images. Dependant on the image, we output our film at anywhere from 50lpi – 100lpi for our line screens. This results in a coarse halftone dot more suitable for the Letterpress process. When it comes to Letterpressed halftone images, there will rarely be any noticeable separation in the impression. Usually only where the image has large areas of contrast.
Any non-vector, solid fill elements should be provided as Bitmap TIF files at a minimum of 800dpi (1,200dpi is recommended) at 100% of it’s printed size. Foil Stamping excels at solid elements and will not replicate a halftone. If using hand illustrated line work, all images should be scanned and converted to vectors in a program like Adobe Illustrator. You can do this manually or by using the “Image Trace” feature.
All images should be supplied at a minimum of 300dpi at the finished print size. If you create an image in Photoshop at 300dpi and enlarge it in Illustrator or InDesign, the resolution will not remain at 300dpi. As a rule of thumb, we use 350dpi as our minimum resolution in-house.
These images need to be supplied in CMYK colour format.
All colours should be supplied as PANTONE+ Solid Uncoated – included with the swatches in your preferred design software. We also print PANTONE+ Metallic inks, but on uncoated paper stocks these inks flatten off and don’t show as shiny metallic. All colours should be used at 100% fill density. For black, please use 100% Black (K) in the CMYK swatches.
Letterpress inks are translucent and can create amazing effects when overlapped. Where these colours intersect, a 3rd colour is created. When done well, this can be a super effective print finish. To see what this effect may look like, use your Transparency feature in your design software and set to “Multiply”. Be sure to let us know what areas you’d like overprinted.
Large areas of solid fill are not recommended for Letterpress. If you do choose to use a large solid Letterpress fill, please note;
• Ink colours will appear mottled or ‘salty’. With larger areas, it is hard for the machine to keep up with the amount of ink needed to keep consistent solid ink transfer.
• Large solids do not lend themselves to a deep impression. As a rule of thumb, the larger the prints surface area, the less impression is possible.
All colours should be supplied as descriptively named Spot colours, for example, “Matte Silver Foil” or “Holographic Silver Shatter”.
Large areas of solid fill are also tricky for Foil Stamping. Due to the nature of the foil transfer, blemishes in large areas of foil can be common, especially on uncoated paper stocks.
All images and artwork should be supplied as CMYK.
The document should be set up at the correct size in metric scale. We require at least 3mm (we use 5mm in-house) of external bleed on all edges of your artwork. We also recommend a no-go zone of 2mm on the inside of the document for crucial information.
If using crop marks, please make sure they fall outside of the artwork. This is usually a setting called “Offset” where you turn your crop marks on.
We have a wide range of adjustment when it comes to impression depth. From a kiss, just enough impression to transfer the print – to a pillowy deep press, where our aim it so go as deep as we can without showing through the back side of the paper. Upon request, we can push the impression further and have the print show through on the reverse, but this can cause buckling and twisting of thinner paper.
We can print 2 sided on most stocks, with our recommendation being 450gsm minimum, but printing on the reverse of something that has already been Letterpressed can knock the impression out of the first side. If this is the case, please let us know which side is the most important for you. Our preference is to print single-sided on two sheets of paper and duplex them together. This way, you can have your double sided deep impression print on a luxe double thick stock.
Impression depth is usually set to just enough to release the foil from its backer. We can run the stock back through without foil and up the impression strength to really punch the print into the stock if requested. This would add slightly to the cost of the job, but on a thicker stock this adds a level of tactility that
Standard depth of impression for Foil Stamping lends itself well to double-sided print. If you’re after the deep punch, we recommend 450gsm stock minimum. Printing on the reverse of something that has already been deep pressed, can knock the impression out of the first side. If this is the case, please let us know which side is the most important for you. Our preference is to print single-sided on two sheets of paper and duplex them together. This way, you can have your double sided deep impression print on a luxe double thick stock.
A double sided print is almost always how we print digitally. Due to the nature of Digital Print and how it registers from front to back, we recommend that you should allow at least a 3mm no-go zone on the inside edges of your trim line.
All files with embellishments should be accompanied by a separate file noting placement and desired embellishments. These files will be used as make ready sheets for your job, so please make them accurate. On variable data (for Digital Print only) jobs, please do not include embellishments on your finished art. Separate files should be supplied for Letterpress, Foil Stamp, Digital Print and a make ready showing a composite of all artwork for placement on the finished print.
Please give each embellishment its own layer, and where possible, please use a descriptive custom Spot colour, e.g. “Cutting Rule” or “Creasing Rule”.
To achieve the best possible impression we love to print on stocks that contain cotton fibre. There are also coloured uncoated stocks available in a variety of weight options. Usually 300gsm – 600gsm feed through our antique presses with ease, and even higher weight stocks can be hand fed. There are many other uncoated stock options that take a good impression, and that suit most budgets, see below for some of the stocks we carry on our shelves.
WILD COTTON BLEND
This luxuriously natural, creamy soft-feel, 35% cotton blend stock is perfect for letterpress, foiling and other pressure based embellishments. Made in Italy, we use both the 450gsm + the 300gsm stock for all of our Love Lives Here Selection work.
LETTRA 100% COTTON
Crane’s Lettra is 100% cotton (100% tree free), with the look of fabric and the feel of handmade paper. Available in 2 colours (fluorescent white & pearl white) and 2 weights (300gsm + 600gsm), this stock was made for letterpress and foiling in the United States.
GMUND 100% COTTON
Also 100% cotton, this German crafted stock is smooth, soft + gentle, elegant and superlatively thick. Available in 6 shades (Max White, Linen Cream, New Grey, Gentlemen Blue, Power Blue + Shiny Cream), it comes in 300gsm + 600 gsm. Perfect for all of our print methods.
Available in more than 50 shades, this all-round stock is suitable for digital print + great for letterpress, foiling, embossing and debossing. With a standard weight of 270gsm, we can duplex two sheets together to create a more premium 540gsm, luxurious, coloured stock.
Manufactured in Finland as s general purpose blotting board used for drink coasters. Coaster Board presses suprisingly well for a wood pulp based stock. Natural white in colour + 390gsm in weight, it makes an economical choice for swing tags + business cards.
A solid grey multi-ply board made from 100% recycled post consumer waste. If a rustic and fun finish at a cheaper price is what you’re after, this might work for your next project. With weight ranging from 350gsm all the way up to 900gsm, it offers plenty of bulk!
With it’s luxurious, soft + textured feel, Superfine is the benchmark for quality when it comes to our digital print range. It allows us to letterpress, foil or emboss/deboss after the digital process for a opulent, full colour + tactile finish.
ecoStar 100% Recycled combines the whiteness + visual appeal of virgin fibre papers with environmental awareness. Not suitable for letterpress, it’s 350gsm weight is perfect for digital print on it’s own or with the addition of foil.
Mickey Loves Jacqui is a specialty print and design studio based in Melbourne’s West. Our love for pressure based print + social stationery started while planning for our own wedding. We now proudly produce beautiful pieces of hand crafted art for passionate creative customers across Australia + beyond. With a fresh approach to print, we love that we are rewarded every day for the “hands on” work that was commonplace in years gone by.
Our printers are big and noisy, but kiss each piece of paper leaving a lasting impression.
Modern letterpress is a similar effect to a deboss. Typically printed using ink (we only print PANTONE+ Solid Uncoated inks), a tonal or blind letterpress print can result in a subtle and striking textural element to your print. We aim for as deep of an impression as we can with minimal show through to the back of the pillowy cotton stocks that were made for letterpress. We use modern plastic plates that allow us to use digital artwork to create high resolution plates in-house.
Suited best for type and solid line elements, we can achieve a halftone effect for photographs. Just think of an old newspaper, with the image made of visible dots. We recommend that elements be no thinner than 0.35 points.
Uses heat and pressure to release acrylic foil to the paper surface. Foils come in a wide selection of colours and finishes, from metallics to coloured pigments and even pearlescent and holographic effects. Printed using a custom made magnesium plate from digital files, foil typically doesn’t result in the same deep impression as letterpress, just enough pressure to transfer the foil cleanly.
Suited to solid artwork only and type no smaller than 8 point in size. Negative spaces can cause problems in the clean release of the foil resulting in small negatives (the insides of letters) filling in with foil. We recommend that elements be no thinner than 0.5 points.
High Quality Digital Print
Not your local print shop print quality, we only print using high quality, industrial digital printing presses. Generally output on a HP Indigo, these high end machines produce the best possible outcomes. Comparable to offset print our digital print is consistently vibrant in colour, while leaving a flat surface… Perfect for secondary processes, like foil stamping.
Wide format digital print
We can print on self adhesive products up to 1,300mm in width (these can be joined to make the print as wide as needed), and we’re only limited by the length of the roll as to how long – anywhere from 20 – 50 metres! We use this for all of our signage + way finding needs to print for acrylic sheets and even the occasional oddball stationery job. We have the ability, by pairing products, to create a print for almost anything you can think of.
This embellishment allows us to produce a multilevel embossed foiled piece in a single pass through the press. Typically raised up from the paper surface, this print method represents the most expensive of our plate solutions due to the complex machining that it requires.
… is up! Embossing is raised up from the surface of the paper. Requiring a metal female and resin male plate to give beautifully crisp sculpted paper, it’s best suited for larger artwork, like larger fonts. We recommend line work be no thinner than 1.5 points.
… is down! Embossing is pressed the artwork down into the papers surface. Debasing requires a metal male and resin female plate to give beautifully crisp sculpted paper, it’s best suited for larger artwork, like larger fonts. We recommend line work be no thinner than 1.5 points.
Square edges aren’t suited for all jobs. Using our printing presses, we can take advantage of the clamshell style action, and the use of a cutting forme to cut your job into unique shapes. We can also add creasing rules to be able to fold your cut shapes. There are limitations to formecutting, so send through any initial ideas and we can help guide you to get the most out of formecutting.
Is exactly what it sounds like. We can paint the edge of your cards in a wide variety of solid or blended colours, we can edge paint any of our stocks. We recommend using stocks 450gsm + over to get the best result, but can edge paint any weight we can print on.
Similar in appearance to the edge painting, but with a solid metallic colour, typically gold. Probably not suited for those on a tight budget, this embellishment does result in a finish that looks far richer.