Letterpress is an over 500 year-old relief printing technique which uses a printing press. Our presses are between 80 and 100 years old and are printing as well today as they ever have. Letterpress uses a unique plate, created for each artwork, which is inked on the raised surface and pressed against the paper. Our letterpress plates are aluminum backed polymer, and made in house for each job. We house over 250 inks for letterpress, and can custom mix to any uncoated Pantone color.
• Great for deep relief and intricate detail.
• Wide range of ink color options (or we can do blind letterpress with no ink at all!)
• Can be a budget friendly alternative to foil (i.e. using a hot pink ink instead of opting for hot pink foil).
Foil while similar to our letterpress process, uses a magnesium plate and high heat to transfer the foil to the paper. It has a slight relief in the surface it’s printed on, though not as much as letterpress. Foil is a great option to give your print jobs that extra wow factor. We have a wide variety of foil colors in house, including Gold, Silver, Champagne, Copper, Matte Gold, Rose Gold and White. If we don’t have the color that you’re looking for in-house, custom colors can be ordered for an additional $40.
• Best process for metallic printing on any paper or for white printing on colored papers.
• Excellent for fine detail and line-work.
• Can help you achieve colors that are otherwise impossible (dozens of holographic options, mirror-like metallics, satin metallics, etc.)
Flat, or digital printing, is our most economical print method and makes a great accompaniment to letterpress and foil. It offers a full range of color coverage on a variety of papers, including our house paper Crane’s Lettra, vellum, and colored papers such as Mohawk Keaykolour. We can also color match to almost any pantone color in case you want to coordinate colors with some letterpress pieces.
• Our most economical process.
• Excellent for pieces that include images that require a wide-range of colors, such as photographs or watercolor paintings.
• Can be used for variable data projects such as envelope guest addressing.
Screen Printing is great for posters, large quantities and full color coverage. It’s also a great option for printing on unique substrates, like acrylic, metal, wood and cardboard. It’s a great choice for pieces that are too big to letterpress, foil, or flat print as our max print areas for letterpress is 18 x 24. We do not print on fabric or apparel.
• Excellent for large size projects such as posters or signs.
• Wide range of ink color options including white, metallics, and neon colors.
• Can be used on a wide range of materials and mediums.
Embossing is our most premium printing process and is perfect for when your project just needs a little extra punch. Embossing uses a die and a counter-die to raise the artwork above the surface of the paper. While its costs are higher than our other processes, the results can’t be argued with. We currently offer both blind and foil embossing.
• The only process we offer which can give you a raised, 3D effect.
• An excellent way to add dimension or texture to your piece.
• Works great with thick, cotton based papers like our house Crane’s Lettra.
Edge Foil applies the same foil used for foil stamping to the edges of your paper pieces. In this process a machine is used to sand down each edge of the printed piece and applies the foil using a high heat process.
Edge Paint is a great addition to business cards, stationery and wedding invitations. This process adds color to the edges of your paper pieces. We can color match edge paint to any pantone, most metallics as well as neons!
Die-cutting allows pieces to be cut into unique shapes. We have hundreds of shapes in house, circles, squares, stars, hearts, envelope liners, scalloped corners and rounded edges. We also have more custom shapes like the state of California, French Bulldogs, cars, and fruits. Get in touch about creating a custom die for a new shape!
Scoring uses custom set metallic scoring plates to create creases wherever you need them. This processes is good for creating folded cards, booklets, belly bands, gate-folds, z-folds, pockets, custom envelopes and boxes.
Duplexing is the process of making a paper thicker through a gluing two or more sheets together. We can double, triple, quadruple (and so on) your specific paper, or we can glue papers with different colors or textures together to give you a layered look.
Specialized assembly is offered for custom pockets, envelopes, mounted pieces and more. Please get in touch if you have a project that has unique assembly needs– we try to accommodate most requests!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long is your turnaround?
Unless otherwise arranged, our standard turnaround is 7-10 business days. We can and do accommodate rush orders for a fee which is determined on a case by case basis. To find out what a rush for your project will cost, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the specs of your job, where your order will be shipping to, and when you want it in hand by.
How do I need to supply my files?
All files should be submitted as PDFs.
You artwork should be final size; if you want a 5” x 7”, your artboard should be set at 5” x 7”.
If your artwork requires a bleed (i.e. if your art has parts that go all the way to the edge of the paper), in your document settings, set the bleed to .125” on each side and extend your artwork to the edge of the bleed line.
Your document color mode should be set to CMYK.
All fonts in your files should be converted to outlines.
All photos in your files must be embedded.
The minimum line-width for letterpress and foil is 0.3; for screenprinting it is 0.5. If your lines are thinner than this, they will not properly expose onto the plate or screen. You can measure this in Adobe Illustrator using the pen tool.
If your order includes a piece(s) that has more than one print process or ink color, please provide separations for each color / ink process as well as a full color mockup. For example, for a 1-color letterpress + 1-color foil piece, you would provide us with:
One file that has only the letterpress artwork
One file that has only the foil artwork
One file that is a full-color mockup with both the letterpress and foil artwork. This should look like what you want the final piece to look like.
When your project includes having a return address printed on an envelope, you need to provide us with a mockup that shows us where on the envelope you would like your address artwork to be placed.
For more info on file requirements for envelope addressing, see the answer below for “Can you print on envelopes?”
Can you print on envelopes?
Yes. We can flat print, foil stamp, letterpress, or screen print on envelopes. Guest addressing can only be done with digital as it’s unrealistic to make physical plates or screens for the large number of names that most events require. For digital printing we cannot print on envelopes smaller than A2 size (4.375" x 5.75").
Are envelopes included as a part of my order?
No. Envelopes are a separate item and if you want them with your order you will have to let us know. We can order envelopes in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and flap shapes, so just let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll do our best to find you some that work for your project :)
Do you print proofs?
We print physical proofs as requested. For physical proofs of digital pieces, charges will vary based off the number of pieces you need proofs for, the paper being used, and how quickly you need the proofs. For letterpress, foil, embossing, and screen-printing, proofs are much more expensive to produce as we have to go through all the same steps that we would if we were running a full job, including making plates or screens that make up a large portion of the cost of an order. For this reason we need to charge you enough to cover the costs of the plates / screens used, as well as a charge for labor / setup. If you proceed with the existing artwork, the costs of your plate or screen is rolled into the cost of the full run so you are not charged twice. Any changes that are made to the artwork after receiving a physical proof (Letterpress, Foil, Screenprinting, and Embossing only) will require a new plate(s) to be made which you will need to pay for.
We do not provide digital proofs as we make our prints directly from the art files that you provide us with.
What is a Pantone book and do I need one?
TLDR: You need one.
Pantone is a standardized color matching that printers, manufacturers, and designers across the world use to specify and replicate specific colors without having to be physically in the same place. What this means is that if you have a Pantone book, you can choose a swatch color, and any printer worth their salt in the entire world should be able to match to it. This is how our greeting card clients are able to pick a color for the card and we are able to reproduce that same color for years after the original run without needing a sample to refer to.
There are a wide variety of Pantone color systems each with their own applications and books. The book that we use here at Czar Press is the Formula Guide Solid Uncoated. Anyone who is serious about their career as a designer or stationer should own one. It is the best way to get consistent and accurate colors for your projects. Plus they’re just so fun to look at :)
Why does my ink color look different on the actual card from how it looks on my screen?
Physical colors that exist in the real world are not the same as colors we see on our screens and devices. To make matters even more complicated, the colors you see on your computer screen are different than the colors I see on my computer screen, and those are different from the colors we both see on our phones. This is why designers around the world turn to the Pantone Matching System (See Above) when they want their printer to be able to match a specific color with perfect precision.
TLDR: DON’T TRUST YOUR SCREENS!
Do I need to pay a deposit before my order will be processed?
Nope! We don’t require deposits, but we do ask that first time customers pay for their orders before we ship them out.
MICHAEL “CZAR” SCHWARTZ
Mike is a man of action and determination. Once he has his mind set on doing something, it’s usually not long until he makes it happen. It was this same blend of gut-feeling impulsivity and willpower that led him to start letterpressing stationery in his garage on a whim in 2007. As Mike’s love for letterpress grew, so too did the business. Although Mike moved the company out of his garage, he made sure to take his “can do” attitude and grit with him along the way. Today Czar Press consists of 10 employees, 11 presses, 2 trimmers, and thousands of cups of coffee (most of which were poured by the man himself).
Mike is a New York native and lifelong disappointed Knicks fan. While he’s not taking care of business on the shop floor, Mike enjoys spending quality time with his wife Rachelle and their two daughters. He’s also a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen and has been dubbed by some as “The Male Martha”. Those who know him best will tell you that his letterpress skills are rivaled only by his Nachos.
Font: Futura Extra Bold
Paper: Sirio Ultra Black
“I've been printing with Czar for over 5 years now. They are stellar at what they do and they really invest in their community. Whether it's helping me meet a rush deadline or hosting a shop tour for local designers or students, the Czar team go above and beyond in every way.”
“I LOVE Czar Press! They are so flexible in working with my oddball sizes, unusual materials, strange print method requests, and of course, insane turn around times. Their flexibility and willingness to try new things has allowed my business to expand into uncharted waters. So thankful to have found such a diverse print house!”
“Czar Press was a godsend as I was preparing to launch my own stationery and paper accessories brand. I had spent months in frustration looking for a printer that could deliver quality at the price point I needed to go in business, and I was beginning to think one didn't exist! When my first card arrived at my doorstep I couldn't have been happier. They are responsive, friendly, and real print artists.”
REQUEST A QUOTE
One of the most common questions we get is, “How much does it cost for letterpress / foil stamping / screen printing etc.” The truth is that every job is unique and comes with its own considerations. Prices can vary widely depending on paper, quantity, size, print process, and number of ink / foil colors.
If you have a project that you would like to get an estimate on, an order that is ready to submit, or even just a few questions for us, fill out this form or shoot us an email at email@example.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Not ready to place an order just yet? Still unsure of what paper and print process you want to go with? Come by and have a coffee on us! We’ve got all the samples, paper swatches, and pantone books that your heart desires and we’d be more than happy to help you iron out the details and get the ball rolling.
17891 SKY PARK CIRCLE, SUITE A
IRVINE, CA, 92614
PHONE: (949) 439-1131
9:00am - 5:00pm Mon - Thurs, PST
9:00am - 2:00pm Friday, PST
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY… unless you bring us treats :)