Tips for Designing for Letterpress


With the National Stationery Show happening in NYC this week, letterpress lovelies are all we can think of. If you’re like us you’re thinking of how you can use it on your next project. We thought we’d share these tips for designing for letterpress from Boxcar Press.

  • Letterpress has come a long way, with more advances means greater flexibility, this includes line widths. To insure a quality impression, use lines of at least .25 pt. and when in doubt avoid hairlines.
  • Letterpress is different from offset in that you may get some show through in areas of solid coverage, creating a textured appearance.
  • Steer clear of screens and opt for a lighter color instead, you will achieve the look you want with much better results.
  • Color costs – letterpress printing traditionally uses up tp two colors but can go up to four, however keep in mind more colors will be more expensive.
  • Crop marks are essential to producing successful results – make sure to include them during the design process as designs created up to the trim line tend to yield an awkward cut.
  • Letterpress printing presses can die cut and score paper even on heavier basis weights, we say the thicker the better.
  • Letterpress is ideal for printing type but you’ll want to target a font size of 6 pt. or higher to insure the best results.


For more info on letterpress design check out the blog at Boxcar press, they’ve got a ton of great info there. You may also want to checkout Letterpress Commons full of  great resources when it comes to letterpress printing.  We also adore the Beauty of Letterpress showing some of the best work being done in the industry today – plus they’re helping the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in their efforts to relocate and salvage a piece of letterpress history.

Do you love letterpress? Join our mailing list and you could win a set of gorgeous letterpress coasters!


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