Thursday, January 12, 2012

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fiore Press featured on Oh So Beautiful Paper!

Click on the above photo to check out the entire blog entry! Or click here.

The fabulous Nole Garey of featured Gabby's 4th birthday party invitations that I printed last Spring. It was so exciting to see my work featured on someone's blog--especially this one! If you've never heard of it, you must check it out. Nole features lots of talented printers' work, mostly letterpress. Thanks Nole!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Poppy + Fuchsia Party Invitations

Homemade cupcakes for the special four-year-old! Recipe & frosting courtesy of Georgetown Cupcake--SO delicious! Marshmallow fondant was super easy to make too!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Britta & Dane's Wedding

Last year around this time, I had the pleasure of printing my sister-in-law Britta's wedding invitations. She is such a creative person, so it was such fun working with her. Britta and Dane's invitation suite included an invitation, r.s.v.p. card, accommodations card, thank you notes, and a map. The map is my absolute favorite part of the entire suite. Britta hand drew everything--from the little icons to handwriting the names of the streets and labeling points of interest! I told her we should turn her handwriting into a font (I still think we should Britts!). I absolutely love Evanston, and I know it also holds a special place in Britta's and her family's hearts, so that made this map that much more fun to create.

Click on the map below to enlarge it so you can see the printing detail up close!
This set was printed on a 110lb. all cotton/tree-free paper in kelly green. I also printed the place cards and table number cards....I'll post those in the next few days, check back soon!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Shower Invitations Part Three: Printing (2 color)

In the first two posts about printing these lovely shower invitations, I showed the design process for creating plates for letterpress, as well as how ink is mixed. This post will show the nitty gritty of the actual printing.

First thing's first: You have to ink up the press. You take the ink you oh-so-carefully mixed. I ended up lightening my ink up with some opaque white to match Paper Source's "Pool."

I simply dab it across the rollers evenly. Then when I turn the press on, the distribution rollers (so appropriately named) distribute the ink very evenly onto all the rollers. I usually let that run for about a minute or so (I've actually never timed it), until the ink is nicely coated on the rollers. You can also see if you need to put a little more ink here or there to make it even.

Below is a little video so you can see how it's done. You'll notice that there was ink already on the rollers. I was re-inking. You have to do that from time to time as you print. That's why with letterpress, some prints end up a little lighter or darker than the next.

After the ink is distributed evenly along all rollers and before pulling that first print, you must ink the form (which, in this case, is the photopolymer plate with our image). You put the press in "trip" mode and run it once down the bed of the press and back and it coats the plate with a very thin layer of ink. You'll notice that the base onto which the plate is adhered is gridded--that makes it a lot easier to line everything up. This is especially important in this case, since I'm printing two colors.

After adjusting the height on the form rollers (more on that later), I'm ready to print my first color! You can see in the video below....

After I'm done printing all the prints I need of the first color, I have to clean off all the ink from the rollers. This can take quite a bit of time and is why printing a 2 color job is a lot more expensive than a one color job. You really have to make sure all the ink is cleaned off so as to not accidentally mix it in with your next color.

After the ink is completely cleaned off, you're ready for the second color, which means using the second plate. This is where the gridded base comes in really handy. Depending on what I'm printing, I have crop marks on my plates to help me with registration as I line up the plate for the second color.

Below is a video of how the second color is printed. After each piece is printed, all that's left is cutting. Oh and lining the envelopes, gluing, addressing......

As you'll see in the photos below, I also printed the return address on the outer envelope flap as well as a little box on the front of the envelope where I wrote the destination addresses. Those were all done in red. After I finished with the second color of the invitations themselves, I set the press up for the printing the envelopes.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. There are many little details involved in the actual printing process, but this gives a pretty general overview. Please feel free to comment or send me an email {} if you have any questions!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nate & Morgan's Wedding

I had the privilege of printing wedding invitations for my close friend Nate's wedding this past fall. The invitations turned out beautifully and the couple was very happy! {*Photos 4 and 5 by Enrique Martinez.)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shower Invitations Part Two: Mixing Ink for Letterpress

In the last blog post, I showed you how I prepare files for letterpress printing. In this post, I'll take you through the steps to mix the ink needed to print. For letterpress, you have the choice between rubber-based and oil-based, as well as soy inks. I personally prefer rubber-based ink, but I know many printers that use other types of ink and are happy with what they use for various reasons.

In the photo below I have a picture of the envelope and the liner I cut out for these shower invitations. I am going to be using two colors for my invitations, a red and a pool-colored ink. I already have the red mixed up, so here I'm mixing up "pool."

The color I'm using is Pantone 7464. The Pantone guide gives me a formula (see photo below) of what colors I need to mix, along with their ratios. So if you look closely, I need mostly white with a little bit of blue, and a tiny bit of yellow with an even tinier bit of black. The ink is thick and goopy, and it takes a little while to work through, but I was really happy with how the color came out on the first try. I might add just a tad more white to lighten the color up a bit.

A few notes on mixing ink for letterpress:

1. The Pantone guides are printed offset, so the color "recipe" is going to come out about a shade darker than the swatch you pick. It's usually a good idea to mix a shade lighter, that way it comes out just right.

2. Also with letterpress, most of us mix ink by hand. Some people use a scale to measure the parts, some buy the ink pre-mixed, and some mix it up by eye. I just figure the ratios of the colors I need and go from there. I've always been happy (and so have my clients) with the way the colors turn out.

3. It's a lot easier to darken up your color than to lighten it, in my opinion. I find that if a color calls for mostly white (like in this example), I will start off with white and slowly add in the other colors. Otherwise, it can take up a LOT of white to lighten the ink.

Questions about any of these posts? Just leave a comment and ask!