1. Cutting Down
We cut the majority of our projects in house. With printing, it is important to plan for cutting. All designs submitted should show the finished dimensions of the piece, and include a 1/8th inch “cut zone” around the final cut. Designs inside this range are in danger of being cut off, and should only be there if you are planning on a bleed design.
For small format works like business cards, we recommend avoiding straight or lined elements close to the cutting zone, as these can cause the cut edge to look crooked against the printed line.
We often cut folded pieces after printing and scoring, though some papers are available “pre-folded.”
If your project needs a fold, you should expect a scoring run when working with cover weight papers. Unscored paper, when folded, is prone to nasty cracks in its surface. Also, it is important to include details on any possible folds, as it helps us plan for the grain direction of your project.
3. Edge Painting
We love it! Edge painting is when we apply color to the edges of your printed business cards, invitations, or art prints. It is a very manual process, which requires specialized equipment, pigments, and additional processing time.
This process works for any square or rectangular sheet printed on cover weight paper, but especially shines on thicker stocks.
4. Die Cutting
Standard shapes are great, but custom shapes are even better. We can offer small format die-cutting services, though due to the cost involved in creating a custom die, we do not recommend this process for short run projects. It is usually better to source a pre-cut stock and then work from there.
5. Rossbach Perforations
We’re proud owners of a 19th century Rossbach Perforator, which produces a “pin hole” perforation. The Rossbach uses a line of pins to punch material out of sheets. You may have seen a similar effect in the way earlier postage stamps were produced.
Sheets are fed one by one and punched by hand for this process, so there is a slight delay in turn around for work that uses the Rossbach. But, when compared to micro-perforations, it’s a unique look and worth the wait in our opinion. We can perforate up to a 30 ” strip at once.
We love zines! In fact, we’re guilt of giving special pricing on zines, and like to support the community in and outside of Houston. For most zine printers, we recommend looking at the details on our Risograph Printing service, which is a great way to produce multiple copies without breaking the bank. And, with letterpress offered in house as well, we love to add letterpress covers to the works we publish.
Be sure to review the notes above on constructing paper dummies and mocks for your project, as nothing is sadder than having all the work in printing go to waste due to poor planning for the finishing elements.
7. Other Concerns / Tolerances
When in doubt, be over cautious with bindery and finishing processes. We find that collaboration is vital to the process, and really need to know what your vision for the final product is. Without this knowledge, we’re unable to offer suggestions or check for details that can make or break your project. We’re in the business of producing the best work we can, and suggestions towards that end are always free of charge.