production question - guilded edges

As a guy that does not turn away even the craziest of requests I am truly stumped on the production of this piece of my latest letterpress project.

I client wants to have the edges of the paper match the ink color letterpressed on the card.

Paper: stock 220# lettra.
Ink: metallic silver ((but as you know only give a glint of shine on the uncoated stock.)
Die cut: to ensure the uniformity of cards and rounded edges so I can somehow get the edges colored.

My problem is going to probably involve a ton of experimenting but if anyone has insight to share on how to achieve coloring the edges please feel free to chime in.

Client is not looking for a metallic silver foil guild. He does not want shiny.

My thoughts - let me know if I am way out in left field.

1. stack cards and clamp tightly together. use a soft brayer to apply a thin coat of ink to edges. Problems: cards may stick together when drying.

2. find a grey foil leaf (is something like that even made by anyone?) and guild edges like what Crane does for their custom stationary. Adhesive is transfered by sheet not brushing on sizing. leaf is applied like normal leaf.

3. spray paint? It just sounds bad.

4. would a hot foil stamp work. probably not since the edges are rounded.

Problems is not letting the ink creep into the paper.

Anyway, if you have ideas please throw them out no matter how out there they are.


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you should be able to find silverleaf and aluminium leaf as well. Try an art supplier or a picture framers supplier. The Piccolo press in Scotland seems to be doing this regularly. Check out their website, I recall seeing photos there. Anyway get some sizing, press your cards firmly together, and apply your leaf. Do one side at a time, leave overnight and separate. Other possible solution, apply silver ink mixed with some varnish with the brayer and brush silver powder (again from the art shop) with cotton wool, leave overnight, next day polish slightly and separate.

Print the guild at the same time you are printing the text, on an oversized sheet. Diecut the gilded edge and they will all be the same. You shouldn’t get any creep from ink. If the customer doesn’t want the “debossed look of todays” letterpress printing, just adjust your makeready so you aren’t hitting as hard on the guilded edge.
You could hot foil stamp the guild but you probably cannot match the ink color. It also adds $$ (another pass through the press, die, foil, etc.)

thanks thomas! I will see what I can turn up.

wildmh- I appreciate the response but not quite what I was asking. Not looking for a border along the edge as much as coloring the flat edge after I run the die-cut. Like fancy book edges but with less shine.

Here’s a pretty in depth video posted by Crane Stationery Co. on how to bevel and gild the edge of paper

good luck!

So i figured it out. Well enough to get the project done anyway.

The only thing that I think saved me from having the edges sticking together was the die-cut rolled the top edges over a bit so they were not perfectly flat. But they were perfectly sized. The rolled edges provided just enough bevel on the cards side to give a small gap in the ink card to card.

the paper stock was a 220# lettra so I made a kind of v shaped cradle to get all of the edges to line up. I also purchased a large adjustable wood clamp.

I lined up about 50 to 75 cards at a time and clamped them together so the edges were flush on all sides. I thinned the metallic silver ink and brayered it out and then rolled it on all of the edges.

I now have a system. But I DO NOT want to do this ever again!!!!