Letterpress Printing on Colored Stock

I love printing on Crane’s Lettra so when a new client requested colored stock for her business cards i figured I could rely on Crane’s Palette for a quality paper with a nice impression. After some research, turns out the paper is sold only in 24.6” x 35.6” and 100 sheet cartons! For a small side business, this quantity is way too big. Does anybody have any suggestions for color stock that will work well in letterpress and have a nice impression? I’m looking for soft colors, light pink/green/beige/etc. Thanks!

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I too was sad to see that Palette was only currently available in 100 sheet cartons! I heard that soon it might be available in small quantities on their website.

I have printed on several stocks (laid stocks are typically pretty good) the issue is typically the weight, most color stocks are available only in 80lb, which is bit light for business cards. Look into Wausau complements, Mohawk via and domtar.


Oh man! That’s too bad. I hope that once they get to promoting this paper they will find that it is worth their while to sell it in more manageable sizes and quantities.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

Magnani Arturo carries a few colored stocks. They print fantastically. Finding them may be a little difficult.
Call your supplier.

In addition to letterpress, we have offset equipment also in our shop. When we need a specific paper color, we just flood coat the stock in whatever pms we choose. Then overprint with letterpress. Its very handy to have Lettra or Somerset available in every pms color. You may want to talk to your local offset printer about this. Make sure they are good printers though, because it is harder than it sounds to produce a good even solid on an entire sheet of heavy letterpress stock, and not every offset press can handle it.

Hi WaldwickPrintingCo,
I’m not familiar with flood coating stock. Is this something your printing shop can do as an order?

I’ve never really considered it before. But if there is enough call for it, it might be worth while.

The common issue arises. If someone needs 100 sheets in a certain color, the cost might be prohibitive after the purchase of the ink, paper and presswork. If someone needs 1000 sheets it may become worth while. If there was a consensus on what colors are popular and would be needed, then large quantities can be produced and inventoried. This would make it affordable.

So yes, I guess we would be willing to do this for people, if it is worth while to them.

I speak from the past, but in the 40s, 50s, and 60s we never (or rarely) cut stock for business cards. There was a wide variety of precut standard business cards in boxes of 500 available, everything from translucent vellums to parchtones in every color.
Matz Paper in Van Nuys, http://www.matzpaper.com was one of our suppliers then, and is still in business. The carry Crane, Strathmore and other quality papers as well as announcements, envelopes, etc.

Try French paper MRFRENCH.com

I have use alot of their paper in my C&P.

i printed business cards on neenah classic columns duplex cardstock - it’s a solid color on one side, usually white or cream on the other. it’s super heavy weight (120#) and works great.

unfortunately, most of the colors are only available as a carton, so what i do is pay the $12 shipping and order as many sample packs as i can. it’s usually enough to do a smallish run of cards, around 500-1000.