Artwork Prep for Letterpress


Here at Carda & Co, we work with clients from all walks of life, from pure letterpress lovers to full-fledged designers.

Our production team wishes to cater to all our clients and make sure they don’t have to scramble and search the web to understand what a vector graphic is in order to make their artwork print-friendly.

Naturally, most designer clients would have an easier time understanding the best file formats for print.

However, we wish to elaborate on artwork submission guidelines to eliminate any confusion and hassle clients might have.

Below is a checklist for your artwork before you send it to us for printing.

As always, we are always here to help or answer any questions.

Artwork Submission Checklist:

1. Correct File Type: Is it in Vector PDF or AI format?

  • Based on this Wikipedia description of Vector graphics, vector graphics are based on vectors (also called paths), which lead through locations called control points or nodes
  • They are based on mathematical expressions to represent images in computer graphics
  • A simple test whether something is vector or not, is to zoom in as much as you can
  • If you see pixels, that means it is not a vector
  • Vector graphics are needed to ensure printing plates have nice, smooth edges
  •  artwork_vector_format

2. Acceptable Graphics: Solid Lines and / or Colors

  • Letterpress printing does not print color shading / gradients well
  • Your artwork should be filled in solid blocks of colors
  •  artwork_solid_colors

3. Font Files: Have they been converted to outlines?

  • The font universe has a countless number of font types and it is possible we might not have that special font you use in your artwork
  • In order to guarantee that your fonts look *exactly* the same on our screen as on yours, you would need to converting your font to outlines. By doing so, we no longer need worry about the separate font files being correct.
  • **Note: **Saving a file in outlines makes your text no longer editable. Please save your file as a NEW version, so you always retain an editable version.
  •  text_to_be_outlined

4. Be aware of the mottled effect with large colored patches

  • Letterpress printing of large areas of ink may result in faded / mottled coverage
  • That being said, we’ll do our best to achieve what you desire, but do note that it might not be perfect.
  • There are methods we will employ to reduce this effect as much as we can, but we would like to inform you in advance
  • Example of a Mottled Print _0008_fame_divebar_bingo

5. Are your lines thick enough?

  • Details / lines must be thicker than 0.25pt for it to print correctly

6. Artwork Size: For Business Cards / Calling Cards

  • The standard size is 90mm x 50mm
  • 90mm x 50mm does not include trim / bleed lines
  • The final namecard size (after trimming) will be 90x50mm
  • Kindly prepare your artwork as such

7. Colors: Please provide either its Pantone or HEX code