Job of the day

Today’s job is a double-sided trifold wedding program. This lovely classic piece is printed in taupe ink on white Smock bamboo paper. Next the program will go on to be scored for smooth folding. Then it will be trimmed, inspected, packed and shipped to the happy couple. That makes us happy.

Our Stronghold

In pre-press, King Tut stands guard over the imagesetters, helping wand off unruly files.

Welcome to Platemaking

Here is a plate being proofed in the platemaking department- a test print to make sure everything appears properly. This is a KF152 plate. We make a variety of plate types in different thicknesses, in metal or polymer depending on the customer’s plate mounting system.

by Carrie Valenzuela, letterpress printer. 1:38 p.m.

Boxcar Press Letterpress Platemaking – Free Shipping, Faster Service + Your Feedback

There are some exciting changes going on here at the old Boxcar – we’re now offering free shipping and faster service to better serve our platemaking customers. Hooray! And while we’re at it, we’d love to get your feedback! Tell us what you think: take our high tech, 4 minute survey and we’ll happily plant a tree for every survey participant. (Oh and you can now follow Boxcar on Twitter, too!)

Free 2-Day Shipping

Be gone, shipping charges! That’s so 2008. We now offer free 2-day UPS shipping on all domestic platemaking orders over 90 square inches.(Edit: As of August 15th, 2014, our minimum platemaking eligibility is 120 square inches) That’s less than 8.5 x 11, if you don’t have a calculator handy! (View our international or other shipping charges)

One Day Turnaround On All Orders!

One day rushes, get out of here! Our standard turnaround is now one day, which means:

* if you send in your order and your ready-to-go files by 5:59 p.m. EST, we’ll ship your order on the next business day. (see new turnaround chart here)
* same day turnaround rushes are still available if you submit your files by 1 p.m. EST (see pricing here)
* if your files aren’t ready to go, keep in mind this may delay your ship date (unless you request that we process your plate no matter what seems wrong with the file)

Questions about any of these changes? Let us know and we’re happy to help!

How to Reach Us (it’s easy, trust us!)

(A happy note: we have finally fired our auto-attendant for our phones. You now get to talk to a real live person when you call during our business hours, 9 6 p.m. EST. Hooray!)

Cathy Smith, Customer Accounts Manager
existing orders & ordering questions • pre-press file prep questions
letterpress printing questions • plate problems • troubleshooting • supply needs • 315-473-0930 x12Anthony Allen, Prepress Manager
file problems on existing orders • 315-473-0930 x13

Julie Salzar-Smith, Admin Assistant
billing questions or concerns • 315-473-0930 x14

Kim Stevens, Operations Manager
praise or complaints • 315-473-0930 x15

Cyd Converse, Blog Editor
get your print shop profiled on our blog
share good news and printing samples that we’ll post on our blog • 315-473-0930 x19

We like planting trees for you.

Remember, for every platemaking order you place over $100, we plant a tree with American Forests. Over its lifetime, each new tree planted will absorb roughly 740 pounds of carbon dioxide. Go trees!

Need coaching, tutoring, or one on one help for preparing your letterpress files?

We’ve been doing prepress for letterpress for a decade now, and we love helping out both new and old printers & designers overcome technical challenges to create the perfect pre-press files. If you’re new to the polymer world, or if you simply hate file prep, give Cathy a shout out (, 315-473-0930 x 12), and we’ll find ways to make the file prep process a breeze for you. (You also might want to take a look at our file prep tips and our FAQ’s on our web site).

We want to hear your thoughts (and we want to plant you a tree too)

We know Boxcar Press wouldn’t exist without you, so we’ll be honest—we love each and every one of you guys. We admire your enthusiasm for letterpress and we share your passion for cool heavy machinery. And we care a whole lot about what you think. We hope that you share your thoughts, great ideas, and disappointments with us whenever you can—but wouldn’t it be fun to also fill out a high-tech survey about how we’re doing? All you need to do is go here by August 8. It’ll take about 4 minutes of your time, and in return, we’ll plant a tree in your honor with American Forests. Thanks!

Get profiled on the Boxcar Blog!

One of our favorite things to do is recognize our platemaking customers and the great letterpress printing they create with our plates. We’d love to profile your print shop and your work on our blog! Drop an email to if you’re interested, and check out previous customer profiles on our blog here.

At Boxcar, it’s all about letterpress and the printers who love old presses as much as we do…

Boxcar Press began 10 years ago, with a guy named Harold, a polymer washout brush, a tray full of warm water, a dream about an easy-to-use printing base, a few rescued presses, poetry, and a lot of caffeine. When employee #2 (Debbie, Harold’s wife) joined Boxcar in 2000, Harold was still hand processing plates himself in the basement sink of their Syracuse, NY house and keeping track of orders on a white board. There were no order forms (or auto-attendants either!). Our little company has changed a bit since then. We’ve learned a lot. We have order forms now. Our home is now 12,000 square feet of space in an old artist warehouse in Syracuse, New York, and we have a team of employees here that keep your happiness close at heart. We’ve processed tens of thousands of plates for thousands of letterpress shops internationally. We’ve fallen more deeply in love with letterpress and this cool printing community. And we’ve had the amazing experience of helping shops, both large and small, figure out how to get their hulking cast iron presses to print well. But we’re still the same friendly folks at heart who love coffee and who are doing what we do because we love letterpress.

Boxcar Base & letterpress plates spotted

We were excited to see the Boxcar Base spotted in some cool places in the blog world lately:
*at Heart Fish, who used our base and plates in a letterpress class she’s taking (the photo on this post is from Heart Fish’s blog — a nice picture of our printing plates in action!)
*check out Marin Press, who used our base and plates to print invitations to “A Most Excellent Midwinter’s Feast,” hosted by the Ottawa Chapter of Canadian Organic Growers to promote their Growing Up Organic Project (how cool is that!);
*Lead Graffiti, who used our plates to letterpress certificates for the Art Directors Club of New York Grandmasters Award ceremony.
Thanks to you all for the Boxcar shout outs! Go letterpress!

Vote right now!

Letterpress sure makes beautiful wedding invitations — but we love when letterpress uses its cast iron muscle for the political realm too. We fell in love with this broadside when browsing on Springtide Press’s web site, and we were super excited to learn that our Boxcar Base and Boxcar plates helped out in the printing. It features a quote from Elizabeth Cady Stanton, champion of women’s voting and civil rights. Here is what Jessica from Springtide Press had to say about the letterpress printing:
“Boxcar base and plates and platemaker and adhesive all done here! Chandler O’Leary is the talent portion of the project–she did all the handlettering then it was scanned and printed. We used 94FL plates on the largest base in my Vandercook Universal 1. The file was output as one plate and we used the “puzzle piece” technique to print in two colors. The paper is a fairly new recycled sheet made from 100% cotton rag.”

If you need more reasons to vote, check out Good Magazine’s 1,565 reasons to vote in their latest issue.