Do you think this will print well?

Hi Everybody!

I got a request from a client that has already designed her invites, but wants me to print them. I have printed a few jobs and am in my comfort zone, but this is not my usual style and am unsure if I will have problems with it. Here is the file:

I have a 8x12 C&P NS. I was planning on using polymer plates from Boxcar. What do you think?? She is flexible on the scripty font, but really likes that larger block font.


Log in to reply   43 replies so far

Send her to your nearest competitor. You’ll thank me for the advice!

Send her to your nearest competitor. You’ll thank me for the advice!

Send her to your nearest competitor. You’ll thank me for the advice!

Send her to your nearest competitor. You’ll thank me for the advice!

I’m not getting anything from that link. Stanislaus seems pretty sure it’s a bad idea, though!

Stanislaus, is it the smaller lines in the larger letters that you think will make it difficult? I want to give her a concrete reason for saying no :)

The link doesn’t work.


Sorry about that, it must just work on certain browsers or something. I am downloading the pic now, hopefully this will work ;-)

image: briarpressquestion.jpeg


I am not as worried about the script because I can make those lines thicker in InDesign, I am worried about the big blocky font and am wondering if the really thick and then the really thin lines will print well being on the same plate??

Makeready !!!!!!!

Yeah, that’s what I was thinking…

Too many ink traps and hair lines.
Stanislaus is offering good advice.
Ask her if she’d be happy with the
same design at letter or legal size.
(Facetiously, of course). Stroking
the hairlines is only going to further
shrink the traps and counters.


I would, but I am working on a 8x12 and she wants some impression, so I can’t go much larger than 5x7.

I just asked her if she would consider some other art deco font, OR to take out half of the fanny lines and make the hairlines thicker.

If you have the option, use a very hard finish stock. It will limit the depth of the impression you can use, but I would worry about those hairlines filling in a bit or getting less sharp-edged with any stock with a lot of surface fiber or too soft a finish.

A plate finish or hot-calendered or hot-pressed paper will allow you to make the most of the detail both of the script and the deco typeface.

It is not likely that you will be able to have very good results trying to get any deep impression with this image set. Perhaps you could divide the plate and print the script separate from the the other face, giving a bit more impression on the script.

Graphically very unpleasant.
A nightmare to print by letterpress.
Decline the job and tell the client that you cannot do it satisfactorily with your equipment. Suggest that she might wish to get it done by offset. That should get you unplugged in a polite way.

I agree with inky. This is NOT a letterpress job. This like drive you crazy with each impression and you will hate letterpress after doing this job.

I love letterpress, but this is NOT a letterpress job.

skipped hiring a graphic designer
who knows printing

such fine lines its a offset job

I might not have to worry about letting her down easy - she isn’t responding to me anymore.

Thank you all for reaffirming what I was thinking. You are so right; I think I would have been so frustrated with this job…


You could do it with high quality copper plates and a nicely run Heidelberg Cylinder- but I agree with the rest of the crowd; this is going to make you hate life on an 8X12 C&P.

I’d decline the job just on aesthetics alone. That script is unreadable.

This could be done in LP, but with massive makeready and a massive up charge, still, you have optical moiree in the thin lines and they will reject the printed job as they will tell you that’s not what they ordered.
Never, ever accept a job without seeing the design.

This stuff looks good from 10 feet, slowly walking away from it.

Relating the recent thread about typography to this job, this piece is questionable regarding two of the three most basic rules for type usage, which are considerations of:

Fitness - suitability of the font(s) for the intended use

Legibility - ease with which the type can be read

Discernability - contrast with the background color, shade, or pattern

In this case the discernability is OK, fitness is questionable, and legibility is questionable (in my opinion).

Yikes, this is a screaming example of bad design, typography! Not since early days of DTP have I seen such a mismatch of typefaces (well, maybe on a diner menu). Innagaddadavida, baby.
jonesel’s right, you should withdraw on grounds that you would not want to be associated with this in any way - what would you say to people even if you were able to do a superb job letterpress printing it?! You’d have to explain how you held your nose & swallowed the medicine you were given…

It could print if it had bearer lines set up outside of the printing area that could be trimmed off afterwards. I agree that the design is wretched, and the lettering some of the worst I have ever seen, but if it was made onto a zinc plate I think it would print. I always liked challenges.


My typoghaphy instructor from RIT is crying in his grave (Dr. Lawson). These two styles should never be on the same page unless it was to show an example of poor typography.

This customer or designer is wicky in the wacky woo.

lol…. :) You all make me laugh. Yes, the more I think about it the better I am feeling I didn’t get this job. I am just starting out with letterpress and I would have been hating it (for obvious reasons of difficulty and not liking it) . I had so much fun printing tons of Christmas cards these past months (ie printing what I want…). My husband laughs at me when I get a design I am not fond of or they want me to design something I don’t like, he says “Their money is green right??” ;-)

I don’t even think this could be printed sucessfully in offset, not without vastly rescaling the type to work at the intended size. A classic example of “just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should be done”

The client probably scuttled the job after a few other folks looked at it and started complaining about blindness and hallucinations from looking at the design.

Probably originally designed by the brides mom………

Colophon Press: I agree Dr. Lawson would be crying in his grave along with Archie Provan, sadly those lessens are no longer taught at RIT.

This comment is off topic, but this thread has become interesting to me from the RIT point of view…..I wonder how many of us went to RIT in the Lawson, Hacker, Gulden, Noga, Weigand, etc. years……

>My typography instructor from RIT is crying in his grave (Dr. Lawson). These two styles should never be on the same page unless it was to show an example of poor typography.

The typeface the names are set in should never be set on the same page as _any_ other typeface. No, second thought, that typeface should never be used, period.

Browsing, I found this; did anyone proof-read?



Pretty hilarious to see the collective gag response. Just reaffirms going with your gut feeling!

I don’t care much for the design at all. There’s many ways it could be improved, but with a little tweaking it’d print just fine. Even on a C&P. I’m not sure what everyone is so afraid of. Although I agree, it wasn’t designed for letterpress. As it doesn’t take into consideration of how the paper can be shaped. Something many people who haven’t designed for letterpress before don’t have an understanding of.

Its silly, but its printable. I’d separate it into 2 plates; heavies and fines, and run it in 2 passes. Price it accordingly, and remember - the customer is almost right.

The client ended up going with thermography :)

A worthwhile discussion about the limitations of each method of printing?


If a printing press is well maintained and cared for, the rollers are adjusted right, the operator knows what he she is doing, well -there is no Limit. Only in paper size.

“The client ended up going with thermography :)”

well, i hope they fixed “nintenth” as the date before it was run. :P

Alan nankivell
Ref limitations , it is for reasons of jobs like the above that i see no point in boxcars filling the chase , we used to use cornerstone base that you added together like furniture , with a job like this you could play with the packing or tissue up one line at a time behind the forme , not such simplicity with a solid base .

I do that a little sometimes. I have a very thin double sided tape that I sometimes put behind certain parts of a plate if they don’t ink as well. This client was also a bargain hunter, so I didn’t want to take the chance, especially when I wasn’t fond of the design…