Boxcar Press

Does anyone have experience dealing with Boxcar Press I placed an order and not even a confirmation came out. Have emailed them in the past by using their website feedback form (no email is given otherwise), and never heard anything.
Am getting anxious. Please share your experience, whether they are a good vendor, good support etc.

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Boxcar Press is probably the #1 vendor for photopolymer plates, aluminum bases, etc. They have a great reputation and should be reachable by phone.

I’ve used boxcar several times and have had a great experience every time. I don’t always receive a confirmation immediately after placing an order (it will come via email)—but, usually it’s within a few hours. Check your junk email folder if you haven’t already, and if you still have no confirmation, then call them. There’s always a chance of an internet hiccup.

I’ve ordered from them and spoken on the phone and have been happy, but I’ve also sent them a question via their website feedback and gotten no response, which is pretty frustrating. Either the form doesn’t work or they’re lax on that front.

I recently placed my first plate order with Boxcar. My order required a phone call first, as I wanted to make sure I did everything correctly. I downloaded, received confirmation, received shipping information, etc. all by email in a very timely manner. Everything went slick, and I had my plates in about a week. I used ups ground. Now that I have my plates…I can’t wait to place my next order!!

I ordered Thursday online, but no confirmation in my email box, no nothing as of Saturday afternoon. I buy stuff online every now and then, and always get email confrimation. Am frustrated as to why there’s no way to just email the guy and ask.

I would definitely phone them to check. Boxcar used to do my plates back when I used photopolymer (I switched to magnesium!) and they usually got things out in a timely manner.
Once, however, I phoned after receiving no confirmation for several days and it turned out the order had been completely overlooked. They were ok on that occasion about expediting the shipping to try and make up for some of the lost days.

Boxcar hasn’t ever sent out confirmation to me, but I get a shipping notice from them. The one time that something went wrong (out of dozens of orders I’ve place) I called because I didn’t see a shipping e-mail, and they overnighted the plates to me, so they’re good at customer service!

You can go online and check your ticket status. You can also email the plate making department at [email protected]. I usually end up having to talk to someone on the phone, because I’ve messed up the files, but they’re very easy to reach and ready to help. I usually talk to Cathy.

They’re super nice people.

a phone call goes a long way!

The order was shipped, they just won’t email you unless you call. The other thing I asked them in email was, How is Inked Emboss done with letterpress ? Like this project they feature, Fashion in fuchsia
Could someone educate me please?

Thanks a lot

The pieces in the photos in the linked page are not embossed, they are just printed on very soft paper, which leaves a deep impression when printed.

Heavy impression without ink is called debossing. With ink, it’s called crash printing. I like the advice my mentor gave me, “You should only print halfway through the paper.”


I thought too this may not exactly be embossing, but how do you get ink on top of it? a better example may be , click on #2
am sure it’s not a deboss though.

hi hipost,

The image that you refer to is printing with ink, using a heavy impression. Embossing is where you have a printed image; then a die is used to raise the image from the back of the paper. The current fad in letterpress is to print a thick fluffy paper with a heavy impression to get a decided impression. It is supposed to be a tactile experience to show that it isn’t some other kind of printing.


The ink is placed on the raised surfaces of the plate or type form by the rollers on the press. When impression takes place, the ink is transfered to the paper being printed.

The process is no different than printing by letterpress in general. The soft paper stock simply is depressed in the areas where the image pushes into it.

I am not sure the gents actually saw the picts of this jobs; I don’t think they are depressed. I think otherwise, they come forward; is it emboss? or something? I am quite aware of basic letterpress operation, so sorry jhenry , your comment adds little usefull information. I don’t think it’s a simple “impression+plus ink transfer” though.

Also, what would be a stock soft enough?

The previous posters are correct, the two examples you’ve posted are most assuredly debossed. The letters/inked areas are pressed into the paper….
The yellow graphic/green text appears to be Reich Savoy 100% cotton stock (118#). I’m not sure what stock the fuchsia example is printed on. The 2 most common papers it seems are Crane’s Lettra (available in 110# and 220#) and and Reich’s Savoy. There are other’s that will work, but those are where I would start.

The important thing to note is that the act of printing can cause the illusion of embossment… I just finished up a set of business cards that had a flood fill of black, so that white “type” stood above the black… it looks embossed, but actually the rest of the card is debossed.

I find it very interesting on the Boxcar Press website if one looks at the examples of “Fine Printing” the impression is noticeably less. Could this be because of the use of handset type, or because they weren’t coddling to the Martha Stewart wedding invitation you can see as well as feel market?

EVERY TIME I order plates from Boxcar I get TWO emails back immediately and two more through the process.

#1: Subject: Boxcar Press platemaking ticket #——— created

Email starts “Before we begin processing your order, we need to receive your files via our upload page. You will receive a separate email confirmation once you upload your files….”

#2: Subject: Files uploaded for Boxcar Press ticket #———

Email starts “Thank you for uploading files for your platemaking order #———. We now have what we need to begin processing your plates.”

#3: Subject: TICKET #——— STATUS UPDATE

Email starts “The status of your order (ticket #110344) has been updated to ‘In production’.”

#4: Subject: Invoice from Boxcar Press

Email starts “Thank you for your order! Attached to this email, you will find your invoice and the tracking information for your shipment.”

I’m not sure if they are doing something specifically different for me but I get 4 emails for each job.

As an added note it would really be nice if people want to change the topic that they would start a new topic. This one went from Boxcar to a discussion about impression.