Mohawk Blog

Combining Digital and Letterpress Printing

Ariel Smullen

Using a variety of printing processes can add a unique depth to design. At the 2015 ADC paper show, Aldine Inc. wanted to show how combining different printing techniques can create stunning pieces.

Paper becomes part of the picture; die cutting exposes and combines two designs into one, engraving adds dimension, and a beautiful paper finish or shade allows your work to pop. 

Aldine Inc. is a family-owned, luxury print house, located in the heart of New York’s SoHo district. They have produced work for companies such as Tiffany & Co., Coach, and Saturday Night Live. Every year, the company sets up a booth with a letterpress printer at the ADC Paper Show, to showcase hands on letterpress printing. This year, Aldine did things a little differently.

Letterpress Skull
Aldine Inc.
Letterpress Skull combined with Digital Printing
Aldine Inc.

The company allowed attendees to print an interesting sample that uniquely blended digital and traditional letterpress printing.  “In-house we do two color offset, foil stamping, engraving, letterpress, engraving, thermography embossing, and die-cutting. We have been combining these processes for years, and now we are incorporating digital print as well,” says Chris Anderson from Aldine Inc.

Digital Printed Skull
Aldine Inc.

First, each piece was printed digitally in-house on an HP Indigo. At the show, attendees were able to run the skull through a letterpress printer which added more dimension and shape to the whole image. “We could have printed the whole thing digitally, and the image would have printed beautifully, but adding letterpress brought this piece to life and gives it a certain ‘wow’ factor that couldn’t be reached by using one printing method only,” Chris continues.


Each sample was printed on Strathmore Pure Cotton. “We started using Strathmore Pure Cotton a few months back, and it has been a huge hit with both our clients and our operators. It prints beautifully, has great ink adhesion due to it being an I-tone sheet, and has a wonderful feel. We have used it on book covers, postcards, and business cards and have had stellar results every single time.”


Client:  Internal project for Aldine Inc.
Design: Image picked up from Shutterstock– prepress and color edits done at Aldine Inc.
Printer: Aldine Inc.
Paper: Strathmore Pure Cotton I-Tone, Ultimate White Wove, 104 Cover/18 Point/281 GSM
Printing: Digital 4 color process/ 1 color black imprint

Production Notes

Print Process
Digital Printing

Materials Used

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