Order of Operations

Hi fellow letterpress friends!!

I’m printing my first large, multi-piece wedding suite on my Challenge Gordon. The designs feature 2 colors on each sheet (a green and a black). I’ve done multi-color prints before, but never needed to use the same color on multiple plates for different sized sheets. Was wondering if anyone could lend some advice on the best order of operations.

For the main invite I have three plates (blind press, black ink, green ink)
Details card has two plates (black ink, green ink)

Would I be best off inking the press once for each color, and bouncing back and forth between register setups for the different designs? Or should I run all the plates required for each design before moving on to the next one… essentially inking the press four times?

I’m sure both options work in the end, with pros and cons. Just wondering what the rest of the community does with a job like this.


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You don’t mention if there is two-sided printing involved, but I will presume no. Since you are running a hand fed, you could just leave the pins in for the larger sheet and run the smaller sheet.

Not sure what kind of plates we’re talking about (loose 11 pt, mounted, Boxcar, etc.) So not sure what technical challenges exist for a given route. Detail on plates/plate system would help.

In the end you are looking at one extra wash up (running color 1 large, 1 small, 2 large 2 small, versus color large 1 and 2 then color small 2 and 1).

Hey Mike!

Everything is single sided and I’m working with boxcar photopolymer plates. I’ll be printing tomorrow and after taking time today to look over everything and practice a set up & registration I think the suggestion of Large 1, large 2, small 2, small 1 might be the best way.

Curious if you would agree given my plate system.
Thanks for the response!

Just keep the plate and pin positions for the large form marked down so you can run the blind deboss at the end. Have fun!