Our Papers Explained

We’re not exactly your typical print shop. We love printing and we love paper. We love French Paper, Colorscope, Arturo, bamboo alternatives, pulp & chipboards and Crane’s Lettra. That’s not to say that we won’t use other sheets if you ask, but know that if you request a quote from us, more than likely you will see something from one of these companies in the paper line on your return quote. And because we’re not just another printer, we want to take the time to bring the papers that we love to life for you, which is what this page is all about…

*feel free to request one of the below papers in your quote, or just ask us to make a suggestion based on your design and notes.
**you should know that each paper will give every design under each process it’s own unique life – so feel free to speak in descriptors when paper shopping with us… sharp, deep, pillowy, washed out – whatever adjectives help get across the vision for your project!

Downloadable scans and ASE files for our more popular papers are in our templates section – you can find file tips in our terms, tips & FAQ.

Screen Printing
Letterpress Prints
Full Color

Screen Printed Business Cards, wedding invitations, postcards, etc…

French Muscetone 140# Construction Pure White Cover
A super thick, slightly toothy, bright white, recycled, and acid-free paper.

3/1 spot screen printed business card on our house 140# Construction Pure White. Notice the subtle tooth that the paper has.

French Muscetone 140# Black Cover
A soft black paper option, the Muscletone Black is a super thick, slightly toothy, recycled, and acid-free.

Notice the grainy nature of the paper stock. A lot of character and beauty.

Specially Recommended Stock
French has an amazing line of papers (Durotone, Speckletone, Poptone, and so on) and we have a few other stocks that we really like to work with. If we’re inspired to recommend a stock that’s not on this page, we’ll do our best to furnish you with an accurate description of the sheet. If you want to do some paper research before sending your project in, we recommend starting at French Paper Company’s website, as we use mostly their paper when it comes to custom screen print orders. There’s more about custom colored papers here.

Duplex to double thick!?!
Take two 140# cover sheets and glue them together and what do you get? One of the thickest business cards you can imagine! If not thickness, then call it a great way to have a two-tone business card border, or accomplish different background colors without having to print a wash… Whatever the excuse, go ahead and indulge!

Use the same paper and just make it double thick! Here are some side-by-sides // 110# to 220# & 140# to 280#

Use 2 different papers and have two-toned edges on your card!

Chipboard is a great post-consumer product. Made from recycled scraps, it generally has a brown hue but can also range into the brown/gray arena. Think cardboard or packaging materials… The boards we use range from .02 to .07. – .03 is our goto, and the .07 is ridiculously thick – just thicker than a quarter! The important thing to know about this stock is that it is inconsistent, which we believe gives it character. Each time we order it in the hue is slightly different, the fleck and grain has a different look and feel. Each card is sure to have it’s own life on this thick and sturdy stock. Generally speaking though – .03 is brown and .07 is gray.

.03 chipboard card on your left & a .07 chipboard card on the right – note .03 is more brown and .07 is more gray.

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Screen Printed Posters

French 100# Cover Construction Pure White // Our “House White”
A thick, slightly toothy, bright white, recycled, and acid-free paper // The construction line has some great colors too!

French Poptone 100# Black Licorice Cover
A soft black paper option, the French black is a thick, slightly toothy, recycled, and acid-free paper.

Specially Recommended Stock
If you’ve looked through our poster portfolio you’ll know that the options just don’t end at black and white. Colored sheets, textured paper & so much more are available. When black and white aren’t enough – your description of the project, the design itself, and our interpretation will all help us land on a paper stock that is right for your project. If you want to do some paper research before sending your project in, we recommend starting at French Paper Company’s website, as we use mostly their paper when it comes to custom screen print orders.

Download scans of our custom order French Paper options from our templates page.

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Letterpress business cards, stationery, wedding invitations, etc..

Crane’s Letrra 110# Cover (300 gsm)
A soft and toothy cotton stock that comes in Florescent, Pearl, and Ecru white options. It is completely tree-free and able to take a great bite from the letterpress. Beside it’s beauty, a real advantage it has over other papers is that it’s very porous. That means we can hold sharper lines with deeper hits. Full coverage prints on letterpress are not as opaque as offset or screen printing, especially on this paper, so be warned that 100% opacity isn’t a guarantee on this sheet.

The three colors Lettra comes in (from left to right) Ecru, Pearl White, and Florescent White (download ASE files of these from our templates)

Ecru // The creamiest of the three Lettra stocks

Pearl White // A subtle off-white. When next to a bright white, you can really see it’s eggshell (see swatch pics above)

Florescent White // A bright white stock

Crane’s Letrra 220# Cover (600 gsm)
The exact tree-free paper as above, only twice as thick! Same color options available.

A 5-color card on 220# Florescent White Lettra, with a die-cut // 220# lets you go deeper without affecting the back of the print.

See the thickness difference between 32# text, 110# and 220# Lettra (ascending order by weight)

.03 Chipboard
The chipboard we typically use on letterpress projects is the .03. It’s generally brown in color and tends to vary a little bit each time we order it. Chipboard is great because it really is recycled bits of of scraps that make up a board sheet. It’s thick (slightly thicker than the French 140# Muscletone), durable, and super rustic. Let us know if you want something thicker and we’ll see if we can’t rustle something up… Like maybe the .07, perhaps??


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B&W Letterpress Special Pricing
Printed on 110# Crane’s Lettra Florescent White

We offer killer pricing on b&w letterpress printing in general, but if your job is single-sided and on 110# Florescent White Lettra, you will get the best pricing. As it’s our most common paper and most common color you’ll be able to get on print runs using the same paper and ink. Make sure to send in your art with your quote to get the most accurate pricing, as some designs are more difficult for what we do – so each job is considered individually.

TIP: For the special b&w pricing you’re bound to the one color – but are you really? Letterpress does a great job with line screens, so we’re actually able to print varying degrees of black on the same plate, aka grays! How do you go about getting grays on your 1-color card? Submit your art in CMYK (of course) and use only K to build your art. Anything you want gray, build with a percentage of K. We’ll take it from there and halftone your card at 133 line screen. Below is a card that was built with 100% K and 35% K – notice the halftones that result to give the appearance of gray. Viola, two colors out of one! Note that the special on this one stock and only single-sided with black ink… For the current special price, request a quote and mention that it’s for the b&w special!

click the left card to enlarge and see the halftones – notice how the dots aren’t visible at a small distance // right card is just… well, rad.

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Colored Sheets For Letterpress
Colorscope, Arturo, & Sorbet
When you send over a letterpress design for us to quote that has a colored background, we’re more than likely going to recommend using colored paper in lieu of a wash of ink. There’s just something so authentic and different about having a yellow card with yellow edges… because the paper is actually yellow! French paper has a great array of colors, but we find Colorscope, Arturo, & Sorbet to have the right thickness and cotton content to do the job when color paper is called for on most letterpress prints. You can download scans on our different papers on our templates page.

a 1/1 letterpress print on Colorscope Citrine & Some of the other great Colorscope colors

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We really only like to offset print on French Papers. Uncoated offset prints on French stock will have a super soft print, with some washout to them – a super cool aesthetic.

This card was printed on French 140# Starch White Muscletone – 4/4 Offset

With careful planning, mixed processes can come out great. Here’s a 4/4 offset print on 140# French Muscletone with a 1/0
Letterpress Print on the backside of the postcard. The RSVP is 4/4 offset.

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if you reproduce any of this work and call it your own, we will besmirch your name all around the world wide web.