Articles about Digital Letterpress

The case for using a base. Here lies information on letterpress printing with photopolymer plates of digitally rendered type and imagery. Read and contribute to articles on photopolymer platemaking, bases for your letterpress, digital file prep, design considerations, and photopolymer printing techniques.

File Preparation

The guiding principles behind good file preparation (for any print process) are simplicity and clarity. Files should include everything necessary for output and omit extraneous objects, layers, guides, and swatches. File Types Most service providers (who you hire to output film, burn photopolymer plates, or print a job) accept InDesign … Continue reading

Types of Artwork Overview

Before sending artwork for platemaking, and even before you begin the design process for letterpress, it’s important to understand how different file formats work. The decision whether or not to create a vector image in Adobe Illustrator or a raster image in Adobe Photoshop, for instance, can dramatically affect how … Continue reading


In the letterpress market you will find products with varying depths of printing impression. On one end of the spectrum is the traditionally-favored “kiss impression,” in which the printer applied just enough pressure to the type or printing plate to give adequate ink coverage on the paper, but the resulting … Continue reading


There are myriad file formats available for output, but some work better for letterpress file preparation than others. It’s important to check with your service bureau to see what file formats they prefer to receive–it’s also important to know the advantages and disadvantages of the most commonly used formats. File … Continue reading

Using a Photopolymer Base

Photopolymer bases provide a foundation to make thin photopolymer plates type high. When mounted with the proper plate material, they should print like any other letterpress form. That said, there are some special considerations when registering the base depending on what type of press you use. Lockup and Registration Bases … Continue reading

Color Separation

This may be the hardest subject for anyone to understand who does not routinely work with print. Traditional printing, which includes letterpress, generates color in two ways, process color and spot color. Process Color Separation “Full color” or “process color”, uses four inks (cyan, yellow, magenta, and black) to generate … Continue reading

Photopolymer Platemaking By Hand

Platemaking by hand is a straightforward process. Photopolymer plates have a light-sensitive surface on either plastic backing or metal backing. A film negative is placed over the plate surface, secured with Kreene or a glass covering, and exposed to ultraviolet light. Where the light hits the plate, the plate is … Continue reading