printing large, solid areas

Hello Everyone!

I would like some help with printing large, solid areas. I get splotchy ink coverage when I am printing on Crane Lettra, with a die that has some areas that are larger and solid. Any tips on how to get a good, solid, consistent print in these large areas? Smaller areas come out perfect.

Also, any advice on a paper stock that gets the same impression quality as Crane Lettra for a reasonable cost? I have been using smooth cover stock( Neenah Classic Crest and Crane Smooth, both 110#) because it’s fairly cheaper, but I lose the impression effect. I like to have an impression that is visible.

I am printing on a C&P 8x12.

Thank you in advance for all of your help!

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coca - I am not sure if this will help but it was difficult to get large areas of coverage with my platen. The splotches came for me when I had too much ink and if I had too little ink the area would not cover. For me it was an ink trick of adding a little printing, adding a little more then printing and so on until I had just enough.

With really large areas I would only use the flywheel and would ink once and roll back down to ink a second time and that would even out the splotchy. It took a while but it did work eventually.

I am sure you will get great answers here. I am now using my Vandercook 99% of the time so I dont have that problem because the bed is 14 x 18 and I only use about 1/5 of that area since I only have a 6 x 9 boxcar base. After purchasing the Vandercook I did not have enough for the $600 base that goes in it yet ;-)

Good Luck!

you need a lot of ink and more impression then i’m comfortable with, but you still won’t get a good flood on lettra

somerset works a bit better……….

to be very honest letterpress is great line work, that’s it


A question about terminology: where does the word “flood” come from? I never heard or read any word but “solid” used in letterpress or lithography to describe this, until recently (and then, to describe a solid covering the entire side of a sheet). Did “flood” seep in from silkscreen, designers, the net, or what?

Dang it Paul…. you answered about dampened paper before I could recommend it! ;)

Dampening paper is the one best technique for printing larger areas on a letterpress. The problem that Coca is describing is typical of trying to print too large an area with dry paper.

Thanks everybody for your advice! All very helpful.

I have tried multiple impressions on one paper, to add more ink in the areas that needed it, but found the finer lines ended being flooded with ink.

I will try dampening the paper. Any technique advice? Using a spray bottle? Waiting a few minutes before printing on the dampened paper?