Letterpress File Guidelines

Digital Files for Letterpress Printing

  • Letterpress printing is best suited to and widely used for line art. For this reason, we prefer working from vector-based images rather than raster. For more information on vector vs. raster images, please see our Placing an Order FAQ.
  • We prefer PDFs for print with all fonts embedded or an EPS file with the type outlined. We also accept packaged AI files. We will never accept a JPEG, PNG, or PSD file for letterpress work. If your design does include imagery, please make sure that it is in bitmap mode, it is as high resolution as possible (600-1200 dpi), and saved as a TIFF file with LZW compression.
  • We require 0.125" inch bleed margins where necessary and 0.25" inch text margins for jobs using polymer plates. Please send us your files sized with your intended finished dimensions, with bleed margins added when applicable. Please do not include crop marks or gang up your design(s).
  • Please note that there is a minimum thickness for lines and dots when using polymer plates. Hair lines will absolutely not work, and we recommend using at least a 0.25 point thickness or larger. Pay careful attention to calligraphic typefaces or swirly designs with varied line widths. Some serif fonts may include crossbars that are too thin even though the font size makes the cut. For dots, we recommend at least a 1 pt diameter. Look out for the dots on “i”s, “j”s, and periods! Make sure all type is 8pt or larger.
  • For spot color jobs, please give us the appropriate Pantone spot spot color selected from the Solid Uncoated book. Note that we are not able to match Pantone colors for foil stamping.


General Guidelines

It is not necessary to reverse your artwork yourself. Please send all your files so that your text and imagery is “right-reading” (as opposed to backwards). The artwork will be reversed as is necessary during the plate-making process or in the composition phase. Both you as the client and we as your printers need to have a clear understanding of the order— this is why we ask that artwork is sent right-reading and all files are sized at their intended finished dimensions.

For one-color jobs, please use only 100% Black (K) in CMYK mode. CM and Y will have 0% values and K will have 100%.

For multi-color jobs, use Pantone Uncoated Solid spot colors only. We cannot accept files in RGB, CMYK, LAB, or Indexed color modes for multi-color jobs.