FREQUENTLY ASKED

QUESTIONS

If a tree falls in the wood, does it make a sound? Does a question exist if it hasn’t been asked? We don’t know – but here’s what we do:

GENERAL

I have a design, can you print it for me?

Yes, we would love to! Get in touch for a quote.

I don’t have a design, can you design for me?

Yes, we would love to! Have a look at the design FAQ below and get in touch.

How long does letterpress printing take?

Our usual turnaround time for letterpress printing is 10 to 15 business days (2 to 3 weeks), once the digital plate proof is approved and the 50% deposit is paid. We do offer a rush service if you’re in a hurry.

Can I see some samples?

Absolutely! Send us your address and any reference images for the project and we’ll post samples out to you. You’re also very welcome to make an appointment to come into the studio to chat about your project and pick up samples in person.

Do you have a price list?

We prefer to quote each job on an individual basis as every project is unique. If you have any reference points or a budget in mind, let us know so we can make relevant suggestions on production.

When are you open?

Our business hours are 9am – 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, though we tend to start early / knock off early on Fridays. We’re occasionally around on the weekends, teaching workshops, meeting clients or printing personal projects.

Do I need to make an appointment?

Yes, please. Sometimes the best person to speak to might be on the press so either email or call us on 03 9043 8444 to make a time to stop in. We also encourage you to come in for a press check on the day of production, to see your project on the press.

Do you run tours?

We run student tours throughout the year. If your class isn’t already on the list, let your professor know you’re keen and we’ll organise a tour of the workshop!

Do you have a newsletter?

Yes! We send out a monthly newsletter with tips, interviews and insights. Sign up here.

Do you run workshops?

We certainly do! Check availability and book a workshop here. We have a seperate newsletter for workshops. If you’re interested, you can sign up here.

Presses

What equipment do you use?

We have nine printing presses that all do slightly different jobs from letterpress printing, foil stamping, embossing, die cutting and scoring. See below for maximum artwork size, paper size and capabilities.

Original Heidelberg Windmill Platen Press (x4)

Maximum paper size: 250 x 350mm
Maximum artwork size:
Letterpress – 216 x 292mm
Foil – 218 x 188mm
Die cutting – 230 x 320mm
Capabilities: Letterpress printing, foil stamping, embossing, die cutting, scoring
Maximum stock weight: ~900gsm
Manufactured: 1960 – 1975

Asbern Proof Press (x1)

Maximum paper size: 350 x 500mm
Maximum artwork size:
Letterpress – 330 x 482mm (incl. crop marks & bleed)
BYO linocut / woodblock / handmade plate – 390 x 510mm
Capabilities: Letterpress printing, embossing, scoring
Maximum stock weight: ~350gsm
Manufactured: 1969

Chandler & Price Hand-Fed Platen (x2)

Maximum paper size: 260 x 420mm
Maximum artwork size: 216 x 292mm
Capabilities: Letterpress printing, embossing, scoring
Maximum stock weight: ~1200gsm
Manufactured: 1902 & 1920

Miehle Vertical V-50 (x1)

Maximum paper size: 355 x 508mm
Maximum artwork size: 299 x 470mm
Capabilities: Letterpress printing
Maximum stock weight: ~300gsm
Manufactured: 1926

Farley Proof Press (x1)

Maximum paper size: 450 x 660mm
Maximum artwork size:
Letterpress – 330 x 482mm (incl. crop marks & bleed)
BYO linocut / woodblock / handmade plate – 435 x 650mm
Maximum stock weight: ~1200gsm
Capabilities: Letterpress printing blind or with hand inking rollers
Manufactured: 1950

Who maintains them?

We all do! The presses are oiled and cleaned on a regular basis, and if something breaks we can usually put our heads together to figure out how to fix it. If not, we have a fantastic press engineer on call to help with the trickier issues.

Design

Can you design something for me?

Yes, we offer design services for all sorts of businesses and brands, big and small. We also design for individuals celebrating a personal milestone or event. We love designing intimate physical moments, applying stories, branding and logo designs to packaging, direct mail, stationery, business cards and invitations.

How does the design process work?

We treat all of our design projects the same. We start with a brief and we work together with our clients to create a completely custom design solution in response.

It always begins with a good conversation – preferably face-to-face or through a video call if you’re further afield. From there, we work together to clarify your requirements, build the brief and put together a quote outlining the scope of the project.

Once the quote is approved and a deposit is paid, we begin the design process. We work closely with our clients to make sure they’re involved in every stage.

 I already have a clear idea of what I want, can you help me put it together?

Yes, of course! Send through your files, reference or ideas and we can work together from there. If you can come to us with a robust, clear brief it helps simplify the design process.

I found something on your website / Instagram / the internet that I love. Can you use the same design for me?

The aim of our portfolio is to showcase different methods of production and how they enhance design ideas. If you’re feeling inspired by something on our site, that’s great! We would love to work with you to produce something completely unique to you and your brief.

The work that we feature on our website and Instagram is credited to the designers that created it. Some of the work is designed by us, some of the work is sent to us for production only. We will not print or design reproductions or copies of anyone else’s design work for you.

Workshops

Do I need any printing experience?

Nope, our workshops are for beginners so no previous printing experience is necessary.

Can I print my own artwork?

The Introduction to Letterpress class prints pre-designed artwork. If you’re keen to print your own artwork, we run private DIY workshops for business cards and invitations.

What should I wear?

The presses are oily and inky, so please wear something you don’t mind getting dirty. Closed toe shoes are also required.

Do you run private workshops?

Yes! Alongside our Introduction to Letterpress classes, we run private DIY workshops so that you can print your own business cards or invitations. The class is designed for one or two people.

Get in touch if you’re interested in a corporate / team / studio workshop for a larger group.

What presses will we be using?

In the workshop we print on two kinds of presses – our Chandler & Price, which is a hand-fed and foot-treadled platen press, and our Asbern Proof Press, a hand-fed press with electric inking rollers.

Sustainability

Is letterpress sustainable?

Yes! Letterpress printing has been around since before electricity was invented and will be around long after the energy apocalypse. We have nine presses that we’ve saved from landfill and a couple of them are over 100 years old. Two of our presses are entirely off the grid, powered by our own two feet and fed by hand.

All of our presses are manually operated so there’s no chance of forgetting to flip a switch and leaving the machines running. We use large sheets of paper for each job and cut the sheet as efficiently as possible to minimise wastage. We also use a very small amount of ink, mixing each ink individually to create the perfect Pantone match and the minimum amount required for each project.

We aim to be as waste free as possible so we re-use what we can – scrap paper, packaging, envelopes and boxes.

Are your stocks recycled?

We use stocks from a range of suppliers, many of them are recycled, but sadly not enough. All of the uncoated stocks that we print on are 100% recyclable.

Why aren’t all stocks made from 100% recycled materials?

We agree that they should be! However, the technology isn’t there yet. Paper is made using long fibres (cotton, wood or cellulose pulp). When paper is recycled the fibres are shortened, which means that recycled paper is more prone to breakage and can struggle to hold ink well.

Depending on the paper, fibres can be recycled an average of five to seven times before the quality and consistency of the paper is affected.

The good news is that virgin paper is one of the most sustainable resources on the planet. Groups such as the FSC ensure that forestry is responsibly managed so that the paper industry offsets production and the whole cycle is a sustainable loop.

What is FSC certification?

FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council, a non-profit organisation that promotes responsible forestry practices. You’ll see their logo on many of the papers that we use. It means the materials for the paper came from a forest where harvested trees are replanted and standards are set for responsible practices in regards to the environment, wildlife and indigienous people. It’s the only scheme recognised by the WWF, Greenpeace and Planet Ark.

Virgin paper that has been certified by the FSC is no less environmentally friendly than recycled paper. Since paper can only be recycled a certain number of times, we actually need to keep producing paper so that we have paper to recycle.

What do you do with your paper offcuts?

We try to minimise wastage where possible so we cut the full sheet into smaller sheets as efficiently as we can. Our offcuts are used around the studio for press set-ups, notepads and personal projects, and then recycled. Occasionally we work with Dodgy Paper to create limited edition handmade stock made from our offcuts. Let us know if you’re interested in printing on this and we can send you some samples.

What is the difference between pre-consumer and post-consumer waste?

In the paper industry pre-consumer waste is generated during a manufacturing process. For example, cotton stocks with pre-consumer waste are made with cotton fibres from offcuts in textile manufacturing. Post-consumer waste is created after a product has been consumed. Packaging from your cereal box or newspaper could make its way into the stock that we use to print your business cards. We print on stocks with both kinds of recycled waste.

What kind of ink do you use?

We primarily use rubber based ink (except for the metallics which only come in oil based ink).

Depending on the colour our rubber-based ink is made up of:
20-30% vegetable oil (including soy and linseed)
12-35% petroleum
15-25% pigment
20-40% synthetic resins

If you’d like to avoid ink, we can letterpress print blind or emboss without any ink. There are limitations with the line weight for embossing, and legibility on contact details can be tricky with both options, but it can be worth exploring if the project brief calls for it.

MORE QUESTIONS?

If you have any other questions, or would like further clarification, please get in touch!