With the diversity of our capabilities there are always questions to be asked,
but some pop up more often than others. Here are a few Q’s and A’s that come up frequently, as well as some other helpful FYI tidbits we threw in.
Your place looks amazing! Can I schedule a tour?
We are up to our elbows in pulp these days and are a little cramped for space so unfortunately we do not offer tours at this time.
What is your turn around time?
Stock Paper - up to a week to ship
Custom Paper - up to 3 weeks
Printing - typically 2-3 weeks
These timelines can change depending on the season and work load, contact us for a more accurate turnaround.
Invoices and Payment?
Due to the custom nature of our producte we require the balance to be paid in full before the order ships.
Can I call for pricing?
Depending on your project we can give general pricing over the phone. However we recommend filling out the paper/print request form for an accurate estimate or you can always email us with your specs.
Unprinted loose sheet samples
If you are curious about a few sample, we are happy to send some along. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your shipping address and we will drop them in the mail at no charge.
We utilize USPS and UPS. If you would like to use your shipping account please let us know when you place the order. For international orders we do our best when filling out customs forms and scheduling the pickup but we always suggest that the client handle the shipping.
We can not be responsible for additional customs fees or taxes.
What Is The Recycled Fiber Content Of Your Papers?
All of our paper is made from 100% recycled fibers and is at least 30% post-consumer waste.
What’s The Difference Between "Pre-Consumer" And “Post-Consumer" ?
Pre-consumer waste is material collected before it reaches the end user and is mainly from paper manufacturers, printers, and converters. post-consumer waste is a material that is collected from end-users and recycled. post consumer fiber is the preferred form of recycled materials because it reduces pressure on our remaining forests, saves water and energy, and diverts solid waste from our landfills.
Why Don’t You Use 100% Post-Consumer Fibers?
While we would love to make all of our papers out of 100% PCW fibers, the irregular color and texture limits our ability to control the quality of the end product. Also the amount of fiber that is needed to fulfill some of our orders makes it difficult to collect it with in the time frame needed. since some of our papers are being made for projects that require very specific colors and textures we find that using the pre-consumer fiber allows us to maintain our standard in quality and consistency while still providing a recycled product!
If you are interested in doing a project with 100% post-consumer fiber please feel free to contact us about the possibilities and minimums required.
How Thick Is Your Paper?
Our standard weight paper is comparable to a 110lb card stock weight or 22-26 point board. the paper is handmade, so this may vary ever so slightly. If you are interested in thicker or thinner sheets for a specific project just contact us and we’ll let you know what we can do!
How Much Paper Can You Produce, And How Long Does It Take?
We have produce over 6,000 parent sheets per week when the workload called for it. Depending on how full our schedule is and the size of the job we can get most paper orders packaged and shipped within 3-4 weeks from the date we receive the purchase order and deposit. It is always a good idea to check with us on scheduling when placing your order.
Can I just buy blank paper?
Absolutely! When we started Porridge Papers we were just a papermill! Pulp runs through our veins. You want one sheet or 20,000 sheets, just head over to our bulk paper section
Does This Paper Actually Grow?
Yes. We do test for germination on our wildflower mix, while we have had great success, growing conditions and printing processes can have different effects on the paper.Because of this we cannot guarantee germination until a test has been done.However, we have used a wide variety of seeds over the years including but not limited to: basil, parsley, chives, dill, oregano, tomato, lettuce, and chile pepper as well as our wildflower mix and have had success germinating them. Germination rates will vary depending on the printing process used with the paper.
What Are The Planting Instructions For Your Papers?
Our generic planting instructions usually consist of something like the following:
“This handmade paper is embedded with herb/wildflower seeds that will grow almost anywhere. Moisten card and plant just under the surface of some soil in a sunny spot. Water regularly until seeds germinate and watch them grow! ”For specific seeds, such as tree seeds, the planting instructions may vary. Please feel free to contact us if you need instructions for a specific seed.
What Types Of Seeds Work Best For Which Projects?
Generally speaking, we choose seeds that are small and easy to print on, that are also easy to grow. We have made paper with a variety of seeds that range from the barely visible to the practically edible (pine and spruce seeds) however, larger seeds are not suitable for projects that involve most printing. If you’re interested in using larger seeds such as tree seeds, it’s a good idea to stick to projects that involve die cutting and mounting. Even smaller hard seeds can and will damage the plates used for letterpress printing, resulting in damaged type and splotchy solids. The best way to find out whether or not a specific seed will work for your project is to contact us . Certain seeds can also cause slight discoloration of the paper. Usually this is minimal and does not take away from the quality of the finished product . Due to the unpredictable nature of organic matter, we can’t guarantee whether or not the seeds will bleed. To see a list of seeds that we commonly use visit the plantable paper page.
How Does Your Paper Compare To Commercially-Made Seeded Papers?
Our papers are all made by hand and air dried. this way, the seeds endure as little damage as possible. Commercially made seeded papers are commercially dried with heat. This essentially roasts the seeds which will prevent germination.
Does Offset Printing Hinder Germination In Seeded Paper?
While some seeds are too large to be fed through an offset press, the smaller seeds such as those found in our stock papers feed and print beautifully and can still grow after being printed. They may take a few extra days to germinate and germination rates will decrease so keep that in mind when choosing this method of printing. For best results we recommend letterpress or inkjet.
Does Offset Printing Hinder Germination In Seeded Paper?
Yes and No. While some seeds are too large to be fed through an offset press, the smaller seeds such as those found in our stock papers feed and print beautifully and we have had some luck with germination. However we do not offer offset printing.
Can I Print On Your Papers At Home On My Inkjet Or Laser Printer?
Yes. We have tested our papers on several different inkjet and laser printers and have had no problem. The quality will not be as good as a commercially printed piece, and we can’t guarantee that your printer will be able to withstand larger quantities, but they’ll still print.
Do You Use Soy Based Ink For Your Letterpress Printing?Does Offset Printing Hinder Germination In Seeded Paper?
Yes. We use only vegetable-oil based, water based and low-VOC inks, and we use low-VOC and citrus-based solvents.
What Is Your Letterpress Turnaround Time?
Depending on our schedule we can usually ship out a job within 2 weeks from the date we receive the purchase order, deposit, and final artwork. If you are using handmade paper for your job, we may require an additional 1-2 weeks. Please contact us about the possibilities and minimums required.
Can you print on both sides?
Yes we can! For letterpress It is best to use a heavier stock (220lb or our thicker handmade paper) so that there is no image show through on the other side. We typically print the “feature” side last so that has the best impression.
How Thick Is Your Paper?
Our standard weight paper is comparable to a 110lb cardstock weight or 22-26 point board. The paper is handmade, so this may vary ever so slightly. If you are interested in thicker or thinner sheets for a specific project just contact us for current scheduling information before placing your order so that we can be sure to get it to you in time.
If you are printing text make sure all fonts are expanded to an outline. You know your font is expanded when you have a colored outline around each character when selected.
Trapping your artwork?
While we can register pretty darn good it never hurts to add trapping if the art work has a lot of hair line registration. With that being said most of the time we receive artwork without trapping. We will leave that up to you.
If your artwork touches the edge of the trim-line we ask that you add a .125 inch bleed.
Can you print screens?
Yes we can print screens; however, we recommend printing in a lighter color. While we can hold a screen, it can get plugged up especially when printing on seeded paper. We output our film at 100LPI which will generate the halftone you specified. Halftones can be an interesting effect and 4 color process can be achieved with even more interesting results.
File tips for Letterpress Printing
Make sure all vectors and fonts in your press ready file are outlined and converted to 100% CMYK black.
Images need to be either vector or bitmap. DO NOT SEND .JPG OR RASTER FILES.
Please use Uncoated PANTONE swatches in your file or include PANTONE information with artwork.
Smallest line width is .3 of a point. If you have trailing dots or swooshes, make sure they are wide enough. Those tend to be trouble areas and may break off your printing plate.
If there are bleeds please have them bleed 1/8".
Screens are not ideal, letterpress is best at 100%. If you are trying to achieve a screen/halftone it is best to print it as a separate, lighter color.
Light ink on dark paper is not ideal. Letterpress inks are translucent, because of this you will see the darker paper show through a bit. In order to achieve this look foil stamping or engraving are a better option.
Heavy solids are not meant for letterpress but can be achieved. Keep in mind that in order to print a heavy solid we use more ink than normal and that will cause any finer details to look thicker than normal. Ideally it would be best to print fine details and heavy solids in different runs. If you are uncertain on how your design will print feel free to contact us and we will do our best to let you know. With large solids the paper shows through a bit creating a salty or mottled look (which can look pretty cool).
Yes we can, it is best to use a heavier stock so that there is less imprression that may show through on the other side. We typically print the “feature” side last so that has the best impression.
When Designing For Letterpress, What Are Some General Guidelines To Follow?
Designing for letterpress can be tricky. There are countless variables that can affect the outcome of a design. If you have specific questions about your
design please feel free to contact us for advice. Here are a few issues that we commonly address:
Solids: We print solids on our press all the time without a problem, though when the design covers a large surface area, the color depth and consistency
become more difficult to hold. We always do everything in our power to maintain consistency in our ink coverage, but when designing a project for letterpress please always keep in mind that the process and machinery are over a century old and some variance is likely. Also the more area that is printed means the more seeds that can be damaged in the process.
Halftones/Screens: It is possible to print halftones and screens with letterpress printing, but the process is best suited for printing colors at 100%. if you are interested in printing in a lighter color, we recommend using a lighter shade of ink instead of a screen. The crisp quality desired when using letterpress can be lost and muddled when a screen is used on handmade paper.
Fine lines: Exquisite detail can be achieved with letterpress printing, but lines smaller than .3 point line width will be lost. If your design has very fine lines
or fonts please contact us us to see whether or not any adjustments should be made.
Light Ink on Dark Paper: With letterpress, we use translucent inks. Printing light ink on dark paper will be like using a thin coat of white paint on a dark wall: you’ll see the wall color through the paint, resulting in a milky effect which is sometimes exactly what you want. If your design incorporates darker papers please contact us for advice on printing lighter inks.
Printing Size: Our largest letterpress print area is 9 x 12 inches. The largest sheet we can run on our letterpress is 10 x 16 inches. If your job requires a larger sheet size please contact us so that we can recommend the best method for you to get the results you’re looking for.
Tips for printing on deckled paper
Allow at least .25 inches around the edges of your design, as the deckled edge and irregular shape of handmade papers may impact your print's placement.
As with any handmade paper printing, we cannot guarantee perfect vertical or horizontal alignment or center since the shape of each sheet can vary slightly.
Can you create a design for me?
At this time we are unable to create custom designs.
Do you have designs to choose from?
No we do not have any design templates to choose from.
File tips for Digital Printing
We would like a press ready .PDF or .EPS file, Illustrator (.ai) or Indesign file(.indd).
Make sure all images are embedded in your file and fonts are converted to outlines.
If there are bleeds please have them bleed 1/8".
Keep in mind that there will be some bounce from sheet to sheet as it goes through the printer ,design accordingly.
Heavy solids are not recommended.
Can I Get A Proof?
Letterpress - Due to the nature of the processes, it is impractile for us to provide a proof. With that said we can provide one but the cost can be $200-$500. We do our best to work with you on your designs before we begin printing to avoid any possible issues. We consider the final PDF of the design to be a digital proof.
Digital - We can provide a digital/full color proof. Keep in mind that it will not be a true representation of the final outcome if you are choosing letterpress. If digital printing then it will be.
Ordering & Shipping
How Do I Place My Order?
The best way to go about ordering from us is to contact us us the specs for your job for a price estimate. From there we’ll address any design issues and get all the details worked out. Once you’re satisfied with the quote, we take a 50% non-refundable deposit along with your signed estimate and design approval. Next we will secure your job on our schedule and get to work!
What Are My Payment Options?
We require orders to be paid in full before we ship your job.
We accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express for payments. with Agencies, Corporate Clients, or Universities, we can work from a PO once payment terms have been established. We never offer terms longer than 15 days.
How Will My Order Be Shipped?
We usually ship via UPS ground unless other arrangements have been made. Shipping is billed and paid for with the balance of each job. If you would like us to use an alternate method or account please contact us to make arrangements.
What Is Your Return/Exchange Policy?
If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your order due to quality issues, we’ll be happy to provide you with a refund or an exchange. If it was a custom order, we are unable to process a refund, however, if the problem was our error we’ll be happy to remake or reprint your job for you. please note that we can only refund shipping and handling costs if the return is a result of our error.
Customer Satisfaction – 100% Guaranteed
All orders from Porridge Papers are 100% satisfaction guaranteed. If you are not entirely pleased with your order, contact us and we’ll do everything we can to take care of your concerns.