Hand Printed Cards

letters set in chase

The text for the cards is typeset using lead type in a chase and then printed onto the card using either an Adana Five-Three or Adana Eight-Five table top platen press. The type for the rear of the cards is the same for the different designs and this is kept locked up in a spare chase. The text for the front is made up to suit each particular design so that small runs of up to 20 cards can be made. If a later run of cards is made there will be differences in the layout and appearance of the text.

lino block
lino block

The image for the front of the cards is made using linoleum. This is first drawn in pen, then copied onto tracing paper with a soft pencil. The reversed image is then rubbed onto the lino block. A border is made the same size as the card to ensure accurate registration. The image is drawn over in black ink so that it is clear which areas are to be carved away. The lino is carved using a fine gouge and craft knife so that it can be printed easily with as few marks as possible.

cards drying
cards drying

Once the lino is carved the image is tested on paper and then card to check for clarity and registration. The cards are produced by inking the lino with a roller and then placing the card carefully over the lino block. These are then placed under the middle of the nipping press and an appropriate pressure applied.

The ink used for the text and the relief printing is the same, in this case it is Caligo safe wash ink which produces consistant results and dries fairly quickly to produce an even sheen. The card is ready creased A6 card with a smooth white or cream finish. Once the ink has dried the cards are checked to ensure there are no nasty thumb prints or missing text and then packed in polycarbonate sleeves with brilliant white envelopes.
How its made