Letterpress invitation business


I’m looking to start an invitation business but not sure which type of press to buy. Not sure if to start with a tabletop platen press or an automated one.

Please advise.

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if i were you i would check out a printing museum, they usually have a few old guys hanging around that could show you what different presses can do. Table top presses are so expensive that if i were starting out i would go for a 10x15 c&p. You will need a few lessons first, these presses will eat your fingers if you don’t know what your doing. Where are you located, maybe someone near you could help you . Good Luck Dick G.

Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately I am not located in the US but have a freight forwarder in the US where I can get a press shipped.

Can the 10x15 C&P also print letterheads?

The 10x15 can print anything from a small business card to a 10x15 sheet with maybe 1/4 of the sheet area in solid type or cuts. In good condition it’s a good solid 1500lb workhorse.


its not cheap to ship equipment out of the country, if your in Canada you have Don Black, who sells equipment (don’t let him sell you a intertype) i think you might find something closer to home if you take time and ask around. Good Luck Dick G.

Whereabouts in Canada are you located?

There are plenty of invitation/stationery businesses which do not handle printing in house. If you are relatively new to printing letterpress, it may be more headaches and expense than you suspect. A lot of businesses in that market seem to have developed from a partnership— a printmaker and a designer/business manager. In lieu of this arrangement, a reliable printer to whom you can farm out work is a good idea as well. Just depends on what you want to spend the majority of your time and effort on.

As for the press, think a bit about your business in a realistic sense. Do you have leads and jobs already generated? If so, maybe an automatic would help you hit the ground running. You will need a capable operator, more capital to purchase the press, and incur slightly larger costs in the beginning as you take the time to get the press set up properly.

On the other hand, if you’re starting from scratch, it may be awhile before you have any jobs or orders to print. If you’re also short on operating/start up capital, it’s much easier to bootstrap a manual press and pay as you go. You can definitely get a good deal on a floor model platen press, but you may have to wait to find one in good condition.

There’s a lot to consider, so grab some scrap paper and draw out some scenarios! Good luck.

James Beard
Vrooooom Press

Thanks for all the advice!

Will definitely take into consideration all that was said.

Would you by any chance know of a company that would handle the printing for me?


Me! Haha. But if you check the listings in the directory, you can search by region and try meeting with some studios to feel out a good fit. It’s generally a good idea to try out a printer with a test project before committing to some sort of vendor relationship, since you’ll want to be able to count on the finished product/results.


James Beard
Vrooooom Press

Hey James

I will definitely be interested in exploring your print service suggestion. Is there an email address I can get for you?

You can reach me at [email protected]

Thanks! Look forward to speaking with you.