Important things you should know if we’re making you some nice letterpress plates
The calming essentials.
our favorite way to receive files: a press ready PDF, AI, or EPS file uploaded to our website. Make sure fonts are embedded or outlined. This file serves as both your file and hard copy, and you’ll be able to proof your file on our website before submitting your order. Not all PDFs are the same: if possible, make your PDF’s “Press Ready” in Illustrator, InDesign, or Quark (this is a drop down option in your Save as PDF window).
other file formats: though not ideal, we do accept PDF files made from Word documents, Photoshop, Gimp, Inkscape, Microsoft Publisher, or other non-graphic design applications; let us know when submitting your order whether you used a non-traditional design program.
if you need scanning, mail us your images and artwork. We scan for free!
file prep in brief: CMYK only (no RGB!); use grayscale only if you want an image to be a halftone; if you don’t want a halftone, use a bitmap mode; don’t use hairlines; if your plate has 94 or 95 in its name, make lines at least a 0.25 point/.004″ thick; if your plate has 145 or higher number in the product name, make lines at least .35 point/.007″ thick; your documents should be the same size as your desired plate; send your files exactly how you want them to look when you print–no reversing; include linked images; if ganging up your files, keep .25” between each file for plastic-backed plates and 5” for steel-backed plates. If your files have crop marks or registration marks, your plate will too. And use Photoshop only for your images (not text!) if you can.
file prep not brief: there sure is lots of useful information here!
we guarantee your plates will be made right: send us your properly prepared files and we promise to make your plate perfectly—or we’ll overnight you replacement plates at our cost.
plate size and proofs: For the 94FL, KF95, KF152, and 152SB plates, the largest size plate we process is 17 x 22. For all other plates, the largest size plate is 16 x 22.
ordering: use our web site. You’ll upload your files as part of the ordering process.
more trees = good. Place a platemaking order over $100, and Boxcar Press will plant a tree for you via American Forests. (why do we like trees so much?)
free adhesive: any plastic-backed plate will have film adhesive applied free of charge.
plate trimming and cutting diagrams: plastic-backed plates are simple to cut so we don’t trim them (just use scissors!). Steel-backed plates are difficult and painful to cut. We’ll be happy to cut your steel-backed plates for you if you include a simple cutting diagram (with the smallest plate size we can trim being 1.5” x 1.5”). To make a cutting diagram, create a separate file showing your cutting marks in red. Upload your cutting diagram along with your other files during the ordering process. Make sure the “preview” box isn’t checked for your cutting diagram so you’ll have accurate plate costs.
plate-choice: KF95 or Jet 94FL (for Standard Boxcar Base users); KF152 (for Deep Relief base users); 152SB (for most magnetic base users); Bunting users: you need to measure your base thickness carefully. Read more specifics on figuring out what plate to use)
payment terms: we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. If you’d like to work with us to set up a Net 30 account, please fill out and send in our account application. We begin review of credit applications immediately, though the process can take a few days depending on how quickly your vendor references respond, so plan accordingly! Your first order may have to be prepaid if you are in a hurry. If you’re a large institution or company paying by PO, please contact our accounting staff to set up payment terms for your online account.
letterpress plate pricing
You have two ways to figure out the cost of your polymer plates.
option 1. Our online system computes it for you.
You have all your files ready in PDF, AI or EPS format.
Start a job ticket by selecting your plate type (status will be pending and your order can still be cancelled).
Upload your files or drag and drop files to your ticket.
The online order system will calculate your inches and dollar amount plus show you a preview of your files.
Do you think you might need same day rush services? Choose Rush and the cost for this premium service will be added.
If your files measure less than 50 square inches, your plate cost falls under our minimum charge and a helpful box will inform you.
Don’t forget there may be additional shipping charges that will be added before your order is complete.
option 2. If your files are in a different format, the grid below explains our pricing in brief.
|standard 1 day service|
|all other plates|
|50*-200||$.62/sq. in.||$.67/sq. in.|
|600-1,000||$.58/sq. in.||$.63/sq. in.|
|1,000-2,000**||$.56/sq. in.||$.61/sq. in.|
|2,000+||$.54/sq. in.||$.59/sq. in.|
|*there is a 50 square inch minimum charge for orders. If your order is under 50 square inches, we will automatically bill for 50 inches. So gang those babies up if you can!||Minimum $31||Minimum $33.50|
|**jobs larger than 1,000 square inches may require extra time, so please contact us in advance for scheduling!|
|Same day rush service|
|your order placed by 1 p.m. EST (we ship that same day)||add $45 or 40% to the above prices-whichever is greater|
do you need a rush service? check out our turnaround to figure this out.
free 2-day shipping: you’ll get it if your order is over 90 square inches and going somewhere in the U.S. Keep in mind that 2 day shipping may be UPS ground for your destination. If you need and select overnight shipping – free 2 day shipping does not apply. We will not downgrade shipping as we will presume you needed the faster delivery option. (read more)
more trees = good. For every platemaking order over $100, we’ll plant a tree for you via a donation to American Forests, because we like trees.
giving back to the letterpress community: when our budget allows, we like to give away (or heavily discount) our plates and platemaking services to worthy causes involving letterpress and good. If you have a large-hearted event or project in need of free letterpress plates, email details to email@example.com. We do ask for some kind of shout out in return.
fine press discounts: we give a 10% discount on platemaking for qualified fine press books. If you’re printing a fine press book and want to see if you qualify, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of your book project. We ask for mention of Boxcar Press in the colophon in return.
New York sales tax: charged on all items shipped to a New York address unless we have a resale certificate on file for you. Fill out the certificate, send it in to our account folks, and then we’ll update your online account (email email@example.com if you have questions). New York sales tax does vary by county: if we have to charge you sales tax, we would charge your specific county’s rate.
We offer a very fast one business day turnaround. If your files are received before 5:30 pm EST we will ship on the next business day. Orders placed on weekends will be treated as orders placed on Monday and scheduled for Tuesday shipping.
Need our Premium Same Rush service – Place your order by 1:00pm EST on a business day and we will ship the same day via UPS. Such tremendous service does have an additional rush charge
jobs larger than 1,000 square inches may require extra time, so please contact us in advance for scheduling.
we close on some holidays. Boxcar Press celebrates the following holidays with wild and somewhat-vegetarian festivities and a day off: Thanksgiving, the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. Please allow for this when placing your orders around the holidays!
in the USA: orders over 90 square inches receive free 2-day domestic shipping. We also ship via UPS Ground, 3-day air, 2-day air, overnight saver PM delivery and overnight air AM delivery. UPS 3 day air is not offered for Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico.
to Canada: we use UPS Canada standard ground, UPS worldwide saver and US Postal mail. US Postal Mail picks up the next business day.
to all other places: we use UPS Worldwide Saver and US Postal Mail. US Postal Mail picks up the next business day.
If you ask us to waive the signature on your package, neither UPS nor Boxcar Press can be responsible if the package goes missing once it’s been delivered.
|UPS: Next Day Air||$30|
|UPS: Next Day Air Saver||$25|
|UPS: 2nd Day Air||$15|
|UPS: 3rd Day Air||$10|
|UPS: Next Day Air Early AM (Saturday Delivery)||$93|
|UPS: Next Day Air (Saturday Delivery)||$43|
|UPS: Next Day Air Early AM||$85|
|UPS: 2nd Day Air AM||$30|
|UPS: 3 Day Air||$10|
|Free 2-day shipping||Free!*|
|UPS: 2nd Day Air (Saturday Delivery)||$28|
|UPS: Canada Standard||$15|
|UPS: Worldwide Saver||$65|
|USPS: Priority Flat Rate||$30|
|USPS: Express Mail||$35|
|UPS: Worldwide Saver||$65|
|USPS: Priority Flat Rate||$20|
|USPS: Express Mail||$30|
|* Free 2-day shipping on domestic orders over 90 square inches.|
Very occasionally, UPS experiences shipment delays due circumstances out of our control (massive snowstorms, train derailments, flooding due to global warming, etc.). If your package shipped from Boxcar Press on time but is delayed due to UPS and the weather, we can’t refund rush charges or platemaking charges. UPS does not refund shipping costs if the shipping delay was due to weather.
International customers, we love you, but keep in mind you’re responsible for any tariffs, duties and/or taxes.