Sunday, May 13, 2007

Latest Project...

This weekend I decided to be productive and get some work done on the Kelsey. Things have been very busy at the studio the last few months, but as we ease into Summer, I find I have a bit more time to spend with my press.

I recently decided to participate in a small notecard/greeting card exchange with a group of fellow graphic designers. I only had to make a limited number of cards of any size, so I opted for something small and relatively quick. In fact, because I haven't designed anything new for photopolymer, I decided to get more use out of the bird I used in my studio's New Year 2007 client cards. That's the beauty of photopolymer (and metal type/cuts as well) is that you can recycle and reconfigure your designs and make something new without much hassle. All I did was cut the bird out of the New Year card plate, reposition it on the Boxcar Base, and away I went.

Just to demonstrate the nice impression I'm getting with the Crane Lettra paper, I took a photo of an blind impression (no ink):

For this project, I also decided to use my new rubber-based inks from Van Son. I prefer rubber base because it seems to set faster and the colors don't seep as much (in my experience). But, each printer has his/her own preference.

Here is the mixing of the ink - for the pastel purple I used a large pea-size of white, and mixed in little bits of red and blue until I got the right mix. One thing I've learned since I started using inks is that the pigment is so intense for most colours that you really don't need too much when mixing with lighter colors.

In the next photo, I placed the ink on the ink disc (the rotating disc where the rollers pick up the ink).

Afterwards the ink is spread around the disc as the rollers go over it.

And here is the finished product:

And of course, my website on the back - for a little self-promotion...

And finally, a bit of cleaning. You can see my bottle of Crisco on the right, and my rag on the left. Another thing I've learned since using my press - hang on to old rags! I use rags left and right for cleaning up the disc and rollers and plates. Old T-shirts work quite nicely - but this one is an old dish rag that has seen better days and has since been cut into slices.

As for upcoming projects - I've still got to get those business cards done. That's first on the list. Then a letterpress self-promo item for local wedding service providers. Then a few other special projects that I have planned. I will post the projects as I go.

Hope you enjoyed this post - as always, happy letterpressing!


  1. Erin, I love keeping an eye on this blog and I particularly love your "process" posts and photos. Although I don't have a press ('s not in the cards until we're out of our current space), I am really fascinated by the process and the learning curve. Thanks for sharing your experiences! And please, keep posting your projects and those step by step photos - very informative.

    —Jessie (XSpex on HOW)

  2. Oh, fabulous impression, and great looking cards. I must ask, where did you hear about using Crisco to clean your press? Does it work well, and do you know if it works for Oil based inks too? I've been using a citrus wash from Boxcar, but the problem is of course disposing of the rags in an environmentally sound way. I've been keeping them in a bin in my studio, but I am very interested in any method that might be less toxic.


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