In-person or virtual, it all starts with a conversation.

Letterpress printing can produce a profound resonance in the hands of the recipient. Because we create an impression into the paper, letterpress-printed material looks and feels three-dimensional, a unique tactile quality that other forms of printing cannot achieve.

How much will it cost?

The short answer: it depends on the specifics. The long answer: it really depends. Check out our FAQ for basic pricing metrics for some common printing categories.

After discussing your project, your needs, and the reach you hope your project attains, we’ll work up an estimate and send it for your review. If anything needs revision, we’ll work with you until everything looks good. Then you simply sign off on the estimate and return it to us along with a deposit.

The deposit is typically 50% of your project total. Once we receive your deposit, we’ll begin the design stage or (if you’re providing us with the designs) the materials procurement stage.


Decide if letterpress is right for your project

Letterpress printing is more laborious, more time-consuming, and sometimes more finicky than other printing methods. There are fixed costs involved, regardless of quantity, so when cost is a primary determining factor, small quantity runs or one-off projects aren’t always the best fit for letterpress.

Always keep in mind that we’re happy to discuss your project with you if you’re unsure. We try to keep it real, and can often suggest other alternatives if letterpress isn’t the route for your project.


Request an estimate

Due to the multiple variables involved with letterpress projects, Smokeproof prefers to tailor an estimate for you based on exactly what you’re looking for. Please take a moment to contact us and we’ll reply with an estimate for your project.

Here are some of the details that affect the pricing on letterpress projects:

  • Quantity
  • Number of colors
  • Number of pieces (example: Invite/Outer Env/Reply Card/Reply Env)
  • Size
  • Versions (example: Business cards for 4 employees)
  • Bleeds required?
  • Floods / large solids?
  • Specialty inks (metallic & fluorescent)
  • Single-sided vs. double-sided printing
  • Paper type & quality
  • Finishing (Diecutting / Scoring / Perforation / Saddlestitching / Binding)
  • Desired delivery date

Prepare the design

The success of any letterpress job hinges on its design. Due to the idiosyncrasies of letterpress, attention must be given to the design to ensure that it will work on the paper you choose. You can have Smokeproof design your project, or you can provide us with your own design; whichever you choose, we’ll have an ongoing conversation about the viability of the design to ensure you’re happy with the end result.

Smokeproof designs*

If Smokeproof designs your project, we’ll send you a digital proof (in .pdf format) in the ink colors you’ve specified. Keep in mind that proofs are digital, not letterpress printed. As with the estimation process, if anything needs revision, we’ll work with you until you’re satisfied. Then you simply sign off on the proof and we begin the makering.

Customer-provided designs*

If you’re providing us with the design, or if you’re working with a designer, please ask for our feedback on the letterpress-ability of your design. Guidelines for sending files to Smokeproof can be found in our FAQ.


Once you’ve signed-off on a proof, Smokeproof Press is no longer responsible for any further changes you would like to make, nor for any errors you may find after the fact. Please be diligent in your editing and proofreading, regardless of who is designing your project.


Procure the supplies

We’ll order the various supplies to print and finish your project.


Produce the work


We print all Smokeproof projects in-house, by hand, on our letterpress equipment. Turnaround times vary in accordance with the type of project, the time of year (season), and our current printing queue. If you’re on a tight deadline, please inquire about turnaround time at the start of your project. Smokeproof can rush most projects if necessary; please see our rush guidelines in the FAQ ordering section. Clients sometimes desire a press check to verify ink matching, letterpress impression, and other factors essential to the project; Smokeproof offers one press check per project, and can make arrangements for more if necessary. Again, please see the press check guidelines in the ordering section of our FAQ.


We’ll put the finishing touches on your project, from diecutting or eyeletting to binding, depending on your needs. If you’d like additional flourishes for your project, please let us know at the start of the project, as it will otherwise delay the timing of the final delivery. As corny as it is, we like to say finishing starts at the beginning.


Finalize the project

Final payment and delivery

We’ll contact you when we’re close to finishing your project. At that time, you’ll need to pay the remaining balance of your estimate. For payment options, please see the payment options in our Ordering FAQ. Once we receive payment, we can wrap up your project and ship it off to you. If you live close by, you can of course pick up your project in person.



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Sorry, we were unable to find the defintion for this term. This is our fault, we probably put a thing-a-ma-jig in the whats-it spot.