New Release Step 2: Printing Process

Steel Petal Press is back at it again with Step 2 of our New Release journey which we call the “Printing Process”. Now, I’m sure it’s obvious what a majority of this portion consists of (printing, duh!) but this time in our process also involves some steps you might not be aware of! Without further ado here’s a look at our Step 2: the Printing Process.

Before we can begin actually printing, we must order things called “plates” which takes about a week or so to come in. Plates are pieces of plastic which have the images of each specific design we created on it. The design has golden raised edges which is what the machine “presses” into the paper to create the images you see on our final products (hence the term letterpress!). It is also interesting to note that each color in a single design must use its own plate. Therefore, a single design may be comprised of 2 or 3 smaller, individual plates depending on how many colors are used – pretty cool, huh?!

Here’s a photo of a variety of plates we ordered for this current release!
A close up photo of a plate (left) and it’s intended final design (right)!

Now, it’s time to get printing! This is definitely the part of the process people are most curious about here at Steel Petal Press. We are always happy to share details about printing and letterpress but keep in mind, this blog is giving a fairly condensed version of how it works. Printing is a very time consuming process that takes days to weeks depending on the amount that is being printed. For example, this specific New Release has taken about 2-3 weeks to print and that’s with 2 people printing and 1-2 presses being used at different times. Check out some photos and informational captions about the printing process at SPP:

Color is everything.
It’s important to take the time to mix everything appropriately in order
to achieve a correct and consistent match for each color!
This photo is of a chase. It is the part of the machine which holds the plate in place so it’s very important that it’s aligned properly . The correct alignment allows for the design
(on the plate) to be pressed into the paper in the right places.
This is Shayna and she is placing the chase (pictured above) into the press so that
she can begin printing!
The image above shows incomplete cards that are waiting to have a different color used on the remaining plate to finalize the entire design!
While printing, it’s also important to pause to double-check alignments and troubleshoot any issues to ensure the best quality of each and every product!

In the midst of our printing marathon, we are also receiving shipments of our other newly design items that have to be outsourced. While every one of Steel Petal Press products are designed here in our Chicago, IL studio, non-paper items such as mugs, magnets, gift wrap, etc. have to be manufactured elsewhere. However, they are all still produced by companies in the US (pretty cool, huh?!).

We snapped these cute little sneak peek photos as soon as we got the new items in!

Lastly, we have to send out all the new products to a photographer so they can snap the product photos we use on our sales websites and marketing materials. This can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks but it’s a very important step. Additionally, we use the photos to make our wholesale and retail item listings so they can be properly purchased by consumers!

Thanks for staying tuned for Step 2 of our New Release. We are in the home stretch so be sure to check out Step 3 which will be the conclusion of our journey…until the next release, of course!

In the mean time, for more behind the scenes follow us on Instagram:

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