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Rental pricing

 

Workspace Rental

Renting our studio workspace costs $10 an hour and is available by reservation. Group rates are available on request after an explanation of project scope, expectations and expected number of participants. This could include clubs, scout troops, classes, etc.

Studio rental users are allowed to work with our metal and wood type for personal projects. It is critical for users to realize that this material is old, valuable and often irreplaceable. Mainly this means that users need to take extra care in hand setting / redistributing type and avoid an overly deep impression which wears down the type surface and rounds the type edges. Chipboard and some papers, such as those with seeds and other materials imbedded in the paper, cannot be used with our type. In such cases the user is encouraged to use either photopolymer plates or their own copperplates which can be created utilizing .pdf files from a computer. Feel free to contact us about places from which to purchase these materials.

We have 2 paper cutters: a manual one for cutting larger paper as wide as 31" and a digital cutter for paper as wide as 20". If you are only going to come in to cut paper it is a rental charge of $10 per hour, charged in 15 minute increments or it can just be part of the studio rental charges.

Press rental & requisites

Press rental requires your completion of the appropriate technical workshop on the equipment to be rented, or our prior approval. To approve rental we need solid evidence of your technical skills from classes or other workshops.

Tabletop press - included free with workspace rental (we have two 6" x 8" tabletop presses)

Vandercook SP15 - $25 per hour (maximum sheet size of 14.75" x 20" sheet with a printing area of print area of 14" x 18")

Vandercook Universal III - $35 per hour (maximum sheet size of 18.75" x 28" sheet with a printing area of print area of 18" x 24")

Chandler & Price 10 x 15 (motorized) or Golding 8 x 12 (treadled) - $25 per hour

Except for paper and plates, we will typically supply you with everything necessary to walk in and print. For letterpress you can use our wood & metal type collection including dingbats, borders and copperplates; chases, metal / wood furniture, quoins for locking up your form; various sizes of bases for photopolymer plates; ink in moderation; scales, ink knives, ink mixing stands, and brayers; paper / cloth clean up rags, mineral spirits and Pomade for roller / press cleanup; and galley trays to store type without quoins for ongoing projects.

We do not supply paper which is an item you need to think about ahead of time. We may have paper in-house that we will sell at a price with a markup. With advanced notice you may order paper and photopolymer plates and have them sent directly to our studio, which will reduce your shipping costs versus sending to a residence. See the bottom of this page for suggested paper sources.

We typically clean and oil a reserved press before each rental and expect it left in the same condition. All solvents, rags, rubber gloves, etc. required for press cleaning are supplied. Cleaning the press typically takes about 30 minutes of solid work, especially when cleaning up after a dark or metallic ink which require an application of roller cleaner.

Thoughts for students

Try to bring a helpful friend which is no additional cost. That way you get some help, an extra pair of eyes, and the two of you get the experience. As a general statement there is no problem with up to three of you in most cases, except example #3 below, but please OK that ahead of time.

For students =, remember that you can continue to rent our studio and presses after you graduate and get a job, which may improve your marketability, add to your freelance options or add a little side income.

Also keep in mind we are happy to look over your files ahead of time to see if we detect any problems for the first couple of jobs and can explain some areas you need to be extra careful. A good rule is to work in InDesign or Illustrator with vector-based images and spot colors.

Sample projects and costs

These costs are estimates and generally high. I believe we could print each of these jobs in half of the estimated time. You will get fast as you get more practice which will lower your costs. You can also weigh buying plates to print 2-up (more plate charge) to reduce your on-press time (lower press rental charge). Sometimes this also allows you to be more efficient trimming paper out of the parent sheet and can reduce paper cost.

Example #1: Tabletop press using hand set type to print 50 one-color party invitations: 3 hours of preparation and hand setting type, 2 hours setting up and printing on a tabletop press, 30 minutes redistributing type, and 30 minutes clean up

6 studio hours x $10 per hour with no press charge for the tabletop press = $60
paper & envelopes estimate = $25

Total for complete project = $85

Example #2: Vandercook SP15 with your photopolymer plates to print 120 A2 greeting cards in two colors: 2 hours of preparation and finishing time off press (cutting paper, ink mixing, etc.), 1 hour of set up and registration of color #1, 1 hour of printing color #1, 30 minutes of press cleanup, 1 hour of set up for color #2, 1 hour of printing color #2, and 30 minutes clean up.

2 studio hours x $10 per hour = $20
5 press hours x $25 per hour = $125
plate estimate = $58 + $8 shipping
paper & envelopes estimate = $45

Total for complete project = $256

Example #3: 4 students willing to use the same paper and same 4 colors on one side for 200 business cards: 2 hours of preparation time off press (cutting paper, ink mixing, etc.), 1 hour of set up and registration of color #1, 1 hour of printing color #1, 30 minutes of press cleanup, same 2.5 hours for color #2, same 2.5 hours for color #3, same 2.5 hours for color #4, and 1 hour of cutting and finishing.

3 studio hours x $10 per hour = $30
10 press hours x $25 = $250
plate estimate = $115 ($0.65 / square inch x 44 square inches x 4 colors)
Shipping is free (UPS 2-day Air) for over 90 square inches
paper estimate (Mohawk Superfine 100# cover) = $25

Total for complete project = $420 ($105 each)

Increase the project to include 6 students and the cost per student is $80
and 6 students get a day's experience in a letterpress studio plus a portfolio piece
and 200 4-color business cards

Example #4: Vandercook Universal III with your photopolymer plates to gang print 125, 5" x 7", 4-card wedding invites in two colors on one side plus two 1-color envelopes: 2 hours of preparation time off press (cutting paper, ink mixing, etc.), 1 hour of set up and registration of color #1, 1 hour of printing color #1, 1.5 hour printing envelopes, 30 minutes of press cleanup, 1 hour of set up for color #2, 1 hour of printing color #2, and 30 minutes clean up.

3 studio hours x $10 per hour = $30
6 press hours for set up on Universal III x $35 per hour = $210
plate estimate = $125
paper estimate (Crane Lettra) = $120
envelope estimate = $60

Total for complete project = $545
It isn't unreasonable that this could cost $1500 from a retailer.

Resources

Photopolymer plates

Boxcar Press

Copperplates

Owosso Graphics

Paper / envelopes

Letterpresspaper.com / Crane Lettra, Somerset and lots of other papers specifically made for letterpress and envelopes
French Paper / good colored papers and envelopes (smaller sizes and amounts)
Legion Paper / printmaking papers (by the case only)
Utrecht / printmaking papers and art supplies
Dick Blick / printmaking papers
Katz Americas/ blank beer coasters (cannot run on the Vandercook)
Talas / bookbinding supplies (paper, bookboard, bookcloth, glue, etc.)
Song Papers (will sell split cases, usually in 5 or 10 sheet increments)
Neenah (will sell samples and split cases)

Other supplies

Clearbags / packaging products and clear sleeves
Uline / boxes and shipping materials