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FAQ

Why Choose Steel Petal Press?

Tangible Beauty. It's the little things in life that matter. With this in mind, I focus on fine-crafted design that's singularly you. Plus, you get the tactile pleasure of holding the printed paper in your hands. This is more than mere invitation or birthday card—you get an experience that brings to mind the best days of your life.

Custom Creation. Whether it's business cards, stationery, or an invitation set, I make each product custom, completely one-of-a kind, just like you. Whatever your style—elegant chic, vintage rustic, or bold flair, give your guests an immediate impression of you and your partner and the event they won't want to miss. Steel Petal Press helps you create a custom product that's a perfect reflection of you for any special occasion. And if you're building a new business like me, wow potential business contacts with bold business cards. Your business phone will be ringing off the hook. No matter the product you need, I'll create a design that conveys your personality.

Creative Flexibility. You love letterpress, but you're on a budget. I get that. Together, we can design a product that you'll both love and feel comfortable with price-wise. I understand different budgets and will do what I can to work within a realistic price range. We're also excited to offer flat printing printing on archival, eco-friendly papers. This digital option gives you a beautiful, vivid look on luxurious paper. 

Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions you may have.

True Service. Let's face it. Planning a wedding can be intense. Steel Petal Press can soothe some of your worries. Not only will you get bold, beauteous design, but also you'll work directly with me—not some faceless corporation—to ensure you get exactly what you want. Trustworthy, one-on-one attention to your vision plus some fun on the side. You'll rest easy knowing you have the most stunning invitations this season.

What is letterpress? 

Letterpress printing is a centuries-old process that creates an artisanal product made by a well-trained craftsperson (that's me!). Yep, it's way old school. The art and science of letterpress requires keen attention to detail and precise measurements. Here's how it works:

First, I create your design digitally. This digital design is then transferred onto a printing plate, which is inked and pressed against soft, thick paper to print text and images. Pressure applied in this printing process creates the striking impression, aka the deboss, which makes letterpress stand out (pun intended) from other printing processes. This is a difference you can see and feel.

The texture of the paper paired with rich colors and the depth of the impression creates a stunning effect that exudes both elegance and craftsmanship. The end result is crisp lines, patterns, and typography. And since cards are fed through the press one at a time, every single piece is 100% unique every time.

Is there a budget option or another method of printing?

Yes! We're excited to offer high quality flat printing. This digital option gives you a beautiful, vivid look at a budget price.  And if you've got your heart set on letterpress, I can make suggestions as to how your order might fit within your budget.

Can I mix printing methods?

Yes! Many of my customers love letterpress but are on a budget choose to order the invitation in letterpress and the corresponding pieces digitally printed.  However because the printers are not compatible, I don't have the capacity to print both letterpress and digital on the same piece.

How do I place an order?

For a detailed explanation on the order process please reference the custom orders page of this site.  You may also contact me any time with questions you may have.  I would love to hear from you!

What is the timing for a custom design?

This is highly variable and depends on the complexity of the design and the response time between our correspondences. It can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months.

What's the turnaround time for letterpress printing?

Once a design is finalized, it takes roughly 2-5 weeks.Why? Because I have to order plates, wait for them to arrive, print each card by hand, trim them down, etc. If all goes smoothly, it takes less time. However, because of the handmade nature of the product, I need to be ready for potential bumps in the road. I build that extra time into the schedule to account for every eventuality, ensuring you get your products in time.

If you need something sooner, I can also accommodate rush orders for an additional charge. Please contact me to discuss your specific needs! 

How much do letterpress products cost?

My pricing is based on how many items you order and which pieces you'll need. Letterpress involves a lot of fixed costs and initial set up. So, pricing starts at a relatively set rate and goes up from there. Likewise, the cost per card goes down the more you order, since these fixed costs are distributed over more cards. Please refer to the Pricing and Customization Guide for an estimated price quote.

What's the minimum for a custom letterpress order?

The minimum order is 25 for digital and 50 for letterpress, and it's always more cost effective to order more. Unfortunately, because of the set up involved, I can't print an order of just one.

How many invitations should I order?

You'll want to keep in mind that you'll only need to send one invitation per household. The amount of invitations you actually need will be less than your guest list. It's generally a good idea to order 15-25 extra invitations, just in case. Because of the set up involved in letterpress printing, it doesn’t cost much more to add a few additional items onto your order. In contrast, the cost to re-order a small amount can add up, since it involves a second set up.

Why is letterpress expensive?

Letterpress is a highly skilled process that requires care and precision. Every single thing is done by hand. I mix all the inks by hand. And each card is printed individually, one color at a time, by hand. It's a meticulous and labor-intensive operation. This lengthy process, though, is what creates such a gorgeous and original product. Plus, I use only the best materials to make sure you get the best invitations and cards possible.

Do we need to meet in person? If so, how do I schedule a consultation?

If you live in Chicago, I highly recommend visiting my studio, so you can see samples and the quality of my work firsthand. We're located in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. Meeting times are scheduled by appointment only—please contact me directly to arrange a time to meet in person.

How did you start letterpress printing?

I love telling a story with text and visuals. So, for me, letterpress printing is the perfect art. I came to it organically through my training as a visual artist, which began at a young age.. I took advanced art classes in high school and on my own time as a teenager. But it wasn't until I was earning my Bachelor of Fine Arts at the San Francisco Art Institute that I became interested in ‘Artist Books’ and ‘Book Arts’ as a medium to tell stories interactively. I even moved to Chicago to attend a graduate school program in book and paper arts. That's when I realized letterpress is what I wanted to devote my life to. For me, it's more than just a living—it's a vocation.

Where did the name "Steel Petal Press" come from?

I made it up! Very simply, I liked the way it sounded. And I wanted a name that alluded to the process of letterpress printing. In this case, the softness of the paper in contrast with the power of the machinery involved.