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Die cutting allows us to create unique and custom shapes

If you've ever seen paper that was cut in to a unique shape (oval, star, shape of a state, etc), chances are it was die cut.

die cut oval with initials letterpress printed
die cut oval with initials letterpress printed

Paper is normally cut with a traditional paper cutter with straight edges. Special tools must be used to create shapes that are different from a square or rectangle.

Letterpresses can be set up easily to die cut. We can design the shape using software programs and place an order with a company that specializes in die cutting. Instead of setting up the press with a photopolymer plate to imprint a design, the sharp edge of the die will punch out the desired shape during the printing process.

If you're interested in incorporating die cuts in to your stationery, reach out here!

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I explained a little bit about inks used for letterpress in a previous blog post. Now, I'm going to go a little deeper in to ink mixing

letterpress printing supplies and a Pantone formula guide
letterpress printing supplies

Letterpress ink can be rubber or oil based. I use inks from Southern Ink Co which combines both. It dries quickly on paper, yet can stay on the press overnight if I don't have time to clean right away.

photo of a hand mixing letterpress ink on a small scale
weighing and mixing letterpress ink

If I need to print a color that's not one of the Pantone base colors, I use the Pantone guide. This is the "universal" color language. Each color comes with a formula. I weigh each ink color on a scale and mix it prior to applying it to the press.

Using a Pantone formula guide helps ensure you get the exact color you want. If you say "light purple," I might mix something that looks more grey to you but more purple to me.

In short, the sky's the limit when it comes to creating ink colors for letterpress!

ready to talk about invitations? contact us here for fully custom or here for semi custom.

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part of a poem written in copperplate calligraphy script with gold ink
copperplate calligraphy script

The short answer is "no."

You can absolutely have terrible handwriting, yet be an amazing calligrapher. My personal handwriting isn't anything special. Calligraphy is more like drawing. You are intentionally creating shapes, aka letterforms, to look a certain way.

Many people start out writing "modern calligraphy." That is a calligraphers' personal script style that they have developed.

addressing envelopes in copperplate script

There are other styles of calligraphy that are considered "universal." Copperplate / Engrossers Script, Spencerian, Roundhand, Italic hand, Black letter - these are just a few styles that exist with rules about how each letter should be drawn and spaced. I have another blog post that goes in to more detail here.

modern calligraphy script

So, the next time you compliment someone for their calligraphy, don't tell them you love their handwriting (or even worse - a font!) 😉

interested in booking me for calligraphy services? fill out my contact form here

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