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Let’s make you some really nice letterpress plates

Back in 2001, when we started making letterpress plates for other shops, we were in our windowless basement, washing out polymer plates by hand for about 5 other letterpress printers that we knew. That sure was fun! But thankfully the years pass. We’re no longer in our basement and now we get to work on letterpress plates for over 10,000 printers around the world, including some of our fine press heroes like Walter Hamady, Robin Price, Gaylord Schanilec, Barry Moser, Jan Kellett, Art Larson, and David Esslemont. This is all a big deal for us. Because we’re letterpress printers just like you. We like our plates crisp and exact and perfect. So we promise ultra-detailed platemaking, a quick turnaround, and nice customer service (we really are nice).

You can read up on our pricing and policies, if you’d like. Here are a few perks if you order from us:

Friendly and free letterpress help

Before you place your order, we can review your digital files to let you know how letterpress-friendly your design is. Once you get your plates, if you need help on press, we’ll keep working with you, offering all the troubleshooting and printing advice that you need to get your plates printing right.

Personal and attentive pre-press help

Before we make your polymer plates, we carefully examine your files to check for pre-press problems. If your files need minor corrections, we may go ahead and make the changes to keep your job on schedule—then we’ll let you know what we did so you can prevent that error in the future (we are happy to instruct you on file prep tips so you can increase your knowledge). If your files have larger problems, we’ll contact you as soon as we can and let you know how to fix your files so they are film ready and perfect plate ready. Want some file prep tips for letterpress right now?

Plate proofs

With each order you’ll receive letterpressed proofs of your plates; these proofs allow you to check the quality of your plate before you set up on press.  No need to try to examine your plates, we have provided a proof pulled right from your plate.

High-tech wonderland

We run sophisticated film output software, process from the highest quality plates and films, and use the best European-made plate processor to expertly create your printing plates. Most image setting services output smooth film (the industry standard), but we make sure to use matte film, which offers better results when exposing photopolymer plates.

Free 2-day shipping in the U.S.A.

On orders over 120 square inches, get your plates via 2-day shipping at no cost to you. You can upgrade to overnight shipping if you’re in a hurry, and we do also offer rush services.  Keep in mind 2 day shipping may be UPS ground for some locales.

We Ship Internationally

We offer UPS shipping and Postal Service shipping for our platemaking service. Please review all options before selecting. Please note! Our international shipping rates don’t include tariffs, import taxes, or customs and brokerage fees. Generally the shipping company collects these fees directly from you when they deliver your package. The brokerage fees are usually a percentage of your total dollar amount and paid to UPS. Brokerage and customs fees are NOT the same as tariffs and import taxes. Canada customers only: UPS Canada Standard is a ground service and WILL include charges for brokerage fees, charged to and payable by you to UPS.

Giving back to the letterpress community

When we can, we like to give away (or discount) our platemaking services to worthy causes, like Sip and Shop for Smudge Ink (benefiting the Boston Food Bank); letterpress broadsides by terminally ill children (coordinated by School of Visual Concepts);  the BC Medical Brigades through Brooklyn College; and Liberating Literature (dealing with banned books) at the University of Arizona. (if you have a large-hearted project coming up and need plates, email for details)

Fine press discounts

We give a 10% discount on platemaking for qualified fine press books. Please allow time before you place your platemaking order to find out about the qualifications for this discount. (email for details)

We guarantee your plates will be made right

Send us your properly prepared files and we promise your plate will made perfectly—or we’ll overnight you replacement plates at our cost.

Our green platemaking practices

  • we recycle the film and chemistry and capture the silver that’s produced during the platemaking process.
  • we run a plate and film recycling program for all our customers to keep polymer and film out of landfills.
  • our proofs are printed on new leaf reincarnation paper (a coated paper that’s fsc-certified, 60% post-consumer waste recycled)
  • we send our plates in biodegradable bags (these bags are fully biodegradable in 9 to 60 months)  We will also recycle these bags with your plates and film if you send them back to us.
  • for every platemaking order over $100, we plant a tree via American Forests

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