We’ve made a selection of the most frequently asked questions to help you to clear up any doubts you may have.

This FAQ have been made according to our working method and to the equipment that we own.

If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for, write us.

I love what you do, I want an estimate!

Thank you so much! Write us at hola@latrasteria.com and we will send you a free estimate.

It’s important to know how many inks we have to print on each side, the size of the print and the quantity. If we can see the file we may recommend you what’s best for you.

Seeing the file is also important because, when possible, we will join processes to save you production costs. That’s something that we’ll decide if it fits with the production and if the final result is not endangered.

I love your monstruario, I want one! // Can you send me samples of your work?

Once the budget is accepted, if you ask for it, we’ll send you free printed samples and our monstruario.

If you want samples for inspiration or just because you like them, we’ll charge you 8.27€ + taxes (for international shipments, please ask for a quote). If after receiving them we work together, that money will be deducted from the first invoice.

Make your order at hola@latrasteria.com.

What’s better, letterpress or screen printing?

It depends! There is no technique better than other, but there will always be a technique that suits your project best.

With letterpress we can achieve deboss effects, thinnest lines and it’s perfect for tight registration.

With screen printing we can print light inks on dark stocks and we can do larger sizes.

Can I mix printing systems?

It can be done, but we should evaluate it according to the project.

Can you print samples?

Due to the printing systems that we use we can’t make samples. The print is the result of a whole prepress process: film preparation, burning plates or screens, mixing ink and press adjustments for each colour; and it’s the same amount of work for a single copy or for a thousand.

What we’ll send you is the PDF file we use to do the film to burn the printing plates or the screens. Please check it thoroughly (design, colours, trim marks…), because once we have your approbation, we’ll start the prepress process and any change could have extra costs.

What is the maximum size you can print?

With letterpress we can print final formats up to 21x30 cm. With screen printing we usually work maximum formats of 70x50 cm.

Which is the minimum run that I have to order?

We don’t require any minimum amount, it’s your choice, but keep in mind that the setup costs are fixed, so the greater the amount the better price per unit you’ll get.

For business cards we recommend to print a minimum between 300 and 500 units to recover the startup costs.

What kind of papers do you use? Do you print on other materials?

On letterpress printing we always work with uncoated papers. Our favorites are 100% cotton and with generous thickness, because they are undoubtedly the ones that allow a better sculpt of the paper.

We have in stock a selection of papers that we think offer the best outcome and value for money. If we are going to work together and you ask for one, we’ll send you our monstruario so you can choose the best for you.

We love challenges at La Trastería and we are keen to work with new materials and papers, so tell us your ideas and we’ll evaluate them!

Which paper thickness is the most appropriate?

That depends on the printing system and on the design.

Usually, for one sided prints we like to work with papers from 300 gsm, for letterpress printings with deboss in both sides we would have to work with papers from 600 gsm, approximately, so that the deboss from one side won’t affect to other side’s deboss.

How many colours can you print?

We can print as many colours as you wish, but keep in mind that we usually work with spot colours, so the more colours on your design the more expensive it will be to print it. The most common is working with a maximum of three printing plates, but it will always depend on the print run.

What is spot colour printing?

Spot colour printing is what we usually use at the workshop, both for screen printing and letterpress.

For each Pantone™ reference on your design we’ll have to mix the ink, do the platemaking and print them separately.

What is CMYK? Can you print a full colour job?

CMYK is a printing system based on the mix of millions of dots (halftones) in four colours: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. According to the proportion in which they are mixed, the different existing colours will appear.

We can do a full colour printing job with a maximum of 115 lpi.

Colour references

We work with Pantone™ references and you’ll have to use the U references (uncoated) since we usually work with uncoated papers. This is important because the colours may vary from the screen to the swatch book and also from U (uncoated) to C (coated) references.

We mix inks manually so there might be slight variations in tone. Both the type of paper and its colour can as well affect the tone of the print.

It’s also important to know that slight variations of the tone are implicit to letterpress, and one of the charms of artisan printing. These variations appear among prints, especially when we aren’t printing lines.

For edge painting and screen printing we use inks that don’t match the PMS, so it’s impossible to guarantee the exact colour. Nevertheless, we will do everything humanly possible to match the colour to the Pantone™ reference you gave us.

Big solid areas

We don’t recommend printing big solid areas with letterpress because there might be variations on the tone from one print to another, causing the colours to show in a non uniform way (faded). This is something inherent to the printing system, since rollers apply the ink directly on the photopolymer plate which in turn applies the ink directly to the paper. Each type of paper and ink are different. Also keep in mind that it’s nearly impossible to achieve a deboss in a big solid area.

Sometimes, when we have to print both lines and big areas with the same ink in the same side, we’ll have to print it using different plates, because it will need different ink flows, affecting the quality of the print.

Most of the times, when someone asks for a large area of colour is because they want the paper in a particular colour. If that’s the case we’ll recommend you to use a coloured paper.

Can you print gradients?

Since we print with spot colours we can’t print gradients. The alternative to this effect are halftones.

I want my print with relief printing, does it have an additional cost?

First of all, it’s very important not to mix up deboss (when the paper is pushed) and emboss (when the paper goes up).

With letterpress printing we can do debosses (with or without ink) without any additional costs. Since it’s just a press adjustment, we can achieve a deboss (bite) and take control of the pressure, or we can print without relief (kiss).

Embossing is an additional process that uses two dies, male and female, and it has an additional cost. If you want a printed emboss we’ll have to do the printing first and then we’ll do the emboss.

I want a single colour print job with different reliefs, is that possible?

Of course! But it will count as a two colours print job because we achieve the deboss while we are printing, so we can’t choose where we do the deboss.

I want a blind impression (without ink). Does it count as an ink?

Yes, a blind impression needs the same setup process as an inked impression.

According to the design we will recommend you to add varnish, or to print with the same tone of the paper, so that we can get a tone on tone print and don’t have to rely on good light conditions to notice the print job.

My design needs a tight registration

We’ll have to check the printing file but, for tight registration, letterpress is the best choice, it’s perfect!

However, if your design has to be screen printed (maybe due to its size), we recommend that you to trap the colours in your file to avoid misregistration.

How much will it cost?

Our printing prices start from 150€ plus taxes, shipment to Spain and Portugal included. All our estimates are custom according to the size, paper, inks, finishing touches and quantities, so we can’t give you a standard rate. Get in touch with us, make sure of be very specific with every detail, and we’ll be happy to provide a non binding estimate.

What do the references 1/0, 2/1… on the estimate mean?

These references point to the number of printing plates that we’ll need to use on each side, 1/0 is a print with a single ink on a single side, 2/1 is a print with an ink on a side and two inks on the other one.

If I reduce the amount of prints, will I reduce the price?

Yes, but probably the amount that you want to reduce does not match the price that you are expecting to reduce.

If you want to reduce the price, you’ll have to simplify the design in order to reduce the printing plates, since they are what dictate most of the price.

How does my design need to be in order to be printed?

Photopolymer plates support lines of a minimum of 0.25pt. If the line doesn’t have any other elements around, it’s just a line, then it must to be of 0.35pt or the line could fall apart during the impression, affecting to the final outcome.

If working with halftones you must take into account that the printing plates accept a maximum of 133lpi. However, we don’t recommend reaching this maximum because the impression would need a very large flow of ink that could blur the image. Our recommendation for a good printing result is to work between 85 & 115lpi.

How do I have to send my file?

We can only accept PDF or Illustrator files with each colour in a different layer, outlined texts, bleeds, cut marks, Pantone™ references, overprint areas and everything needed for the print.

We recommend to work with vector files when possible, since they provide better results in terms of definition of the impression, especially with fonts.

If you still decide to work with PSD files, you will have to bitmap each layer, save it as a TIFF and embed it in an Illustrator document.

If you prefer it, we offer a file preparation service.