This depends on the type of base you own. See the plate choices part of our web site for more information! In general, you will choose a plate with two things in mind, your base system (Boxcar or Magnetic) and your printing press. Our plastic backed plates correspond to a particular Boxcar Base and steel backed plates will correspond to either the Patmag or Bunting base.
If you are using one of the Do It Yourself home letterpress systems, we suggest the KF152 plastic backed plates.
If you are using an etching press, call us and we’ll suggest a plate, based upon a few questions about your setup.
As you are likely hand inking with these last two presses, please remember to ask us to SEND STRIPS in your platemaking order. They will be very helpful with your inking brayer for an easier inking.
You will need to send your files at 100% scale. We do not resize, scale up or down, or rotate any artwork. We highly recommend using the ruler feature available in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign to check your work to see if it is the size you want.
When exporting a PDF from Adobe Illustrator or Adobe InDesign, please double check to make sure it is the correct size by either re-opening it in Illustrator or placing it in InDesign to check the actual dimensions of your file. In InDesign you can use the Rectangle Frame tool to draw a box around your images/text to measure.
In Photoshop, use the Image Size tool to check your size. Saving your file as a .TIF locks your image size.
If you are ordering printing from us, no. Please send individual files and we will set up for most efficient production in our shop.
If you are ordering plates and doing your own printing, yes! By ganging up the plate yourself, you have more control over the margins and gaps between the ganged up artwork. Between each individual piece, we recommend .375” for plastic-backed plates and .5” for steel-backed plates. Our negatives come out of the imagesetter in 18″ strips, so ganging up onto a 17” wide strip, and up to max 22” long, is the most economical way to make negatives. Since we like to keep our maximum plate size at 17 x 22, please break larger files into two files.
That said, if you were to send us many individual files, we’d gang up the pieces in the most cost-effective manner. If you’re using plastic-backed plates, after we gang up your files, we’ll ship your job as a single plate and you can trim them easily yourself, using scissors or an Exacto.
If you’re using steel-backed plates and we gang up your files for you, we’ll ship your job as a single plate, unless you provide a cutting diagram for us. If you are submitting a ganged up file, keep in mind the fingers of our employees who have to trim your metal plates and leave us enough room around your text/images to hold the plate safely while we cut.