Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Coasting Around on Letterpress

An order for 900 coasters. Actually, I ordered one thousand. Figure about 10% for "waste", but that figure may be rather high. These are drink coasters for Deltona Alliance Church's College and Career Group. These drink coasters are 4 inches in diameter, 2.0 mm thick. As far as coasters go, they are the real deal, ordered from a national branding supplier.

Today was spent printing the reverse side, which is single colour, black. The font used is Bickham Script, with Celtic harps surrounding 358 degrees of circumference.

The image imprinted nicely, without registering any protestation from the press. If there is too much pressure, my 8 x 12 New Series C&P lets me know by the way it literally "feels". After you get to know a press, you can actually sense certain things. One telltale is rhythm. Another is subtle sound changes. Still another is might be a change in the dwell.

The pulp-board composition of these drink coasters make it ideal for debossing without heavy driving. I do not like to "drive" my forms, and I refuse to punch my metal type. But on this surface, deboss comes naturally. The photo above has the light held aslant the coaster's surface to enhance the overall effect photographically. By the way, just about all those images you see on Letterpress sites do the same thing. The depth of shadow can really play the deboss depth depending on the angle of the light to the surface. Just thought I'd toss that in there. When you actually hold the coaster and look at it critically, you see a nice image, conservative depth, and good, sharp detail. You do not get the "Grand Canyon".

Here is a full-face view of the coaster reverse. One of the genres of Letterpress Printing that Q5 Studio & Pretty Good Letterpress would like to investigate is "Branding" with various coasters. We can obtain three different thicknesses, 1.0mm (thin), 1.5mm (medium) and 2.0mm (thick), both round and square (with rounded corners), in two different diameters, four inches being the widest.

One use for these coasters that I have seen more and more lately is for Wedding Announcements! Just think . . . . bring your own coaster to the reception! How thoughtful. But a very creative idea.

I will be posting more as we proceed with the obverse (front side) printing, which will be a two colour affair.

Stay tuned.



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thanks, Nick! Hey, we need to do Coffee sometime!

  3. Would like to see how you held the coasters on your platen as you printed. Please post pix of that in your next set!



  4. Hi, Jody:
    I'll be posting a video on how I do the makeready for circular costers, which will cover that.

  5. I wish there was a way to go in and edit my spelling in these comment windows! Arrgghh!!!