The Printing Process: Edge Painting

Every morning this week, I’m running a series of guests posts about different printing methods – so if you’ve ever wondered why certain printing methods are best for certain kinds of designs (or cost more than others), this is for you!  You can read the previous installments covering digital printingengravingscreen printingletterpress printing with antique type, and foil stamping all right here.  Today Michael from Czar Press is here to walk us through edge painting!

What is Edge Painting?

Edge painting at its surface sounds pretty simple – it’s a process by which color is applied to the edges of cards, invitations, even books or journals.  Edge painting can be done in any color, including metallics and foils (!), and is usually mixed by hand to be matched to a specific Pantone color.

Bella Figura Neon Edge Painting 550x320 The Printing Process: Edge Painting

I’m a huge fan of edge painting for a bold pop of color on business cards and wedding invitations, like the new invitation collections from Bella Figura, Dauphine Press, and many others.  While edge painting is a commonly used technique, there is a whole lot of mystery surrounding the process – and printers seem to have different methods or processes for applying edge paint.  Today we have Michael from Czar Press walking us through his edge painting process and removing some of the mystery from this popular technique!

The Process

The edge painting process takes place after all graphics and text have been printed and all paper materials cut down to size.  For this example, we’re focusing in on a recent business card project.  I like to make sure my blade is especially nice and sharp when trimming out cards that are going to be edge painted.

Edge Painting Czar Press6 550x365 The Printing Process: Edge Painting

Edge painting involves a padding press (pictured above), ink, and a brayer.  The cards should be stacked on the padding press, making sure that the cards are pressed against one wall of the padding press as evenly as possible.  Crank down the vice(s) on the press, applying pressure to the cards, making them nice and snug.  Remove the outer wall off the padding press, leaving one side exposed.  This the side that will receive the ink.

Edge Painting Czar Press51 300x401 The Printing Process: Edge Painting Edge Painting Czar Press21 300x401 The Printing Process: Edge Painting

Then using just a little bit of ink, ink up your brayer.  Roll the brayer around and around on a piece of glass if possible in attempt to make the ink spread even across the brayer roller.  Then I apply the ink to the exposed side of the card, applying as little pressure as possible with the brayer to get good ink coverage on the cards.  Once the ink has been applied, I like to gently wipe down the inked side of the cards with a cotton cloth to remove any excess ink.

Edge Painting Czar Press11 300x401 The Printing Process: Edge Painting Edge Painting Czar Press31 300x401 The Printing Process: Edge Painting

Let them dry for a while – maybe an hour, depending on conditions – until they are dry to the touch.  Put the outer wall back on the padding press, spin the cards around to the next side and repeat until all sides are complete.

Tips and Advice

Most printers recommend thicker papers – usually 160 lb and up – for maximum results with edge painting.  Edge painting can be done on thinner paper, but heavier (thicker) paper weights will better show the color and saturation of the ink color.

Bella Figura Foil Edge Painting 550x321 The Printing Process: Edge Painting

Similarly, most letterpress printers recommend darker or more saturated colors for edge painting.  Think bright red, cobalt blue, or even bright neon or metallic foils!  As with any custom process, most printers hand mix inks to match a specific Pantone color, so keep in mind that there may be slight variations in tone and saturation depending on the number of cards being painted.

Thanks Michael!  Check out more of Michael’s letterpress work right here!

Photo Credits: Example images via Bella Figura, process photos by Czar Press

Colorful Edge Painting

I absolutely adore the technique of edge painting – it’s such a wonderful way to add a subtle pop of color and personality to a business card or wedding invitation.

Edge Painting Red Business Cards 500x320 Colorful Edge Painting

Business Cards Edge Painting 500x320 Colorful Edge Painting

Adrienne from Dingbat Press sent me a note to let me know that she’s now providing edge painting for invitations and business cards, and – just for Oh So Beautiful Paper readers – she’s offering FREE edge painting on orders placed in the month of September!  Just make sure to mention Oh So Beautiful Paper when you contact Dingbat Press to request an estimate!

{image credits: dingbat press}

Michelle + Martin’s Classic Purple Edge Painted Wedding Invitations

These sophisticated wedding invitations from Courtney Callahan Paper combine modern patterns with pops of color and a classic calligraphy font – all letterpress printed on soft and thick cotton paper.  I love the bold dose of color from the purple envelope liner and edge painting!

Classic Purple Wedding Invitations Edge Painting Courtney Callahan Paper2 550x366 Michelle + Martins Classic Purple Edge Painted Wedding Invitations

From Courtney: Michelle and Marty, a NYC-based couple, have a dynamite sense of style and wanted a fresh, modern wedding invitation suite that also incorporated their wedding colors, slate and plum.  Mixing bold patterns is one of my favorite design techniques, so when a bride tells me she is not afraid of pattern – it’s music to my ears!

Classic Purple Wedding Invitations Edge Painting Courtney Callahan Paper7 550x366 Michelle + Martins Classic Purple Edge Painted Wedding Invitations

Letterpress printed on Crane’s Lettra Pearl White, this oversized square invitation combined quatrefoil and geometric circles in slate with pops of plum on the invitation edging and inner envelope liner.  A flourished calligraphy font adds just a touch of timeless elegance to the overall suite.

Classic Purple Wedding Invitations Edge Painting Courtney Callahan Paper5 550x366 Michelle + Martins Classic Purple Edge Painted Wedding Invitations

Classic Purple Wedding Invitations Edge Painting Courtney Callahan Paper8 550x366 Michelle + Martins Classic Purple Edge Painted Wedding Invitations

Classic Purple Wedding Invitations Edge Painting Courtney Callahan Paper4 550x366 Michelle + Martins Classic Purple Edge Painted Wedding Invitations

Thanks Courtney!

Concept and Design: Courtney Callahan Paper

Letterpress Printing: Accucolor

Check out the Designer Rolodex for more tal­ented wed­ding invi­ta­tion design­ers and the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Jennifer Kathryn Photography

Edge Painted Business Cards from Antiquaria

You already know Bailey and Emma, the lovely and talented ladies behind Antiquaria, from their regular DIY tutorials here on Oh So Beautiful Paper – not to mention their custom wedding invitations and vintage shop.  Bailey and Emma recently redesigned their business cards, and I’m loving the beautiful knockout calligraphy logo and soft aqua edge painting!

Antiquaria Letterpress Edge Painted Business Cards2 550x365 Edge Painted Business Cards from Antiquaria

From Bailey and EmmaWe wanted to make something unique while keeping in line with our brand image.  The cards were letterpress printed in black and copper on super thick cotton paper.  We then added the edge painting ourselves because, after all, who doesn’t love a pop of color?

Antiquaria Letterpress Edge Painted Business Cards 300x451 Edge Painted Business Cards from Antiquaria Antiquaria Letterpress Edge Painted Business Cards3 300x451 Edge Painted Business Cards from Antiquaria

Thanks ladies!

Antiquaria is a member of the Designer Rolodex – check out more of their beautiful work right here!  For DIY inspiration, you can also see their DIY tutorials here.

Photo Credits: Kelly James of Studio Austin Weddings

DIY Tutorial: Rubber Stamp Edge Painted Save the Date Tags

It’s the ladies of Anti­quaria, back with another fab­u­lous and cre­ative DIY project for you!  This week they’re here with instructions on how to create a rubber stamp save the date tag!

At Antiquaria, we love everything vintage!!  In this save the date DIY, we were inspired by the look of old luggage and parcel tags.  There is something very lovely and familiar about this tag shape but to have it professionally die cut can be quite costly.  We emphasized the shape with “edge painting” using a very nifty and easy trick!!

edge paint final1 550x352 DIY Tutorial: Rubber Stamp Edge Painted Save the Date Tags

edge paint11 550x352 DIY Tutorial: Rubber Stamp Edge Painted Save the Date Tags
Step One: Cut your kraft paper into a 4.5″x6″ rectangle.  Ink your save the date stamp (we used our “Ribbons and Banners” stamp) with your desired ink and make a print on your paper.  Be sure to press evenly on a hard work surface.  Let the ink dry overnight.

edge paint21 550x352 DIY Tutorial: Rubber Stamp Edge Painted Save the Date Tags

Step Two: Next, draw 1.5″ diagonal lines on the top corners of the save the date.  Also draw a small dot in the center, about 3/4″ from the top.  Once you have your markings in place, cut off the corners with a pair of scissors or an X-Acto knife & ruler.  Punch a 1/8″ hole where you have placed the dot.  Insert a small craft grommet and install using a grommet tool.

edge paint3 550x352 DIY Tutorial: Rubber Stamp Edge Painted Save the Date Tags

Step Three:  Using the same or a coordinating ink color, drag edges smoothly through the pad to create the “edge painted” effect.  Let dry overnight.

edge paint41 550x352 DIY Tutorial: Rubber Stamp Edge Painted Save the Date Tags

Step Four:  Assemble the save the date. Tie twine or ribbon through the brad and add fun postage and calligraphy to bring it all together!!

Materials:

“Ribbons & Banners” Save the Date Stamp

Kraft Card Stock, cut into 4.5″x6″ rectangles

Stamp Pad (we used navy)

Pencil

Scissors or X-acto & Self Healing Craft Mat

1/8″ Hole Punch

A6 Envelopes

Gray Striped Twine

Photo Credits: Antiquaria