BetterPress is an innovative and effortless system that allows you to create projects with the enduring elegance of letterpress design, without the complicated setup or mess.
What is BetterPress?
BetterPress is an innovative and effortless system that allows you to create projects with the enduring elegance of letterpress design, without the complicated setup or mess. The starter system includes everything you need to begin creating when paired with your manual die cutting machine.
What is included with the BetterPress system?
The starter kit includes the tool itself, which is comprised of a chase with magnetic platform, platen, and shims. It also includes a set of press plates, a selection of cotton card panels, a BetterPress Black ink pad and a roll of Best Ever Craft tape.
Which die cutting machines does it work with?
The BetterPress system works with Spellbinders Platinum and Platinum 6 die cutting machines, as well as the Sizzix Big Shot, Big Shot Plus, and Switch machines.
How is a letterpress image different from a stamp image?
When paired with the BetterPress Ink and Cotton Card Panel, BetterPressed images provide two distinct differences over stamped images: a high level of detail, and an elegant impression in the cotton card panel that you can feel, much like you would expect from letterpress stationery from a gift or card shop.
How are the press plates themselves different from Glimmer or etched dies?
Not only are press plates a different thickness than Glimmer hot foil plates or etched dies, they also feature a special coating. This coating allows the ink to evenly lay on to the plate for optimal transfer to the cardstock.
Can you use regular Glimmer plates in the BetterPress system?
No. Glimmer plates are thicker than Press Plates; using them in the BetterPress system will cause damage to the magnetic platform and platen.
Can you use BetterPress plates in your regular die cutting machine?
BetterPress Dies can be used in a regular die cutting machine; the press plates do not cut.
Can you use the BetterPress plates in the Glimmer Hot Foil system?
Early testing suggests that yes, the press plates work beautifully when used with the Glimmer system to add hot foil to cardstock. The team is in the midst of conducting longevity testing to ensure that long-term hot foil use does not degrade the coating on the press plates, but early results look promising.
How does the ink differ from other inks on the market?
BetterPress Ink was specially formulated by Ranger to be used in the BetterPress system. The ink is based on Ranger’s Archival Ink formula but has two additional features: a higher viscosity, allowing optimal transfer from the press plates to the cotton card panels, and more dye for intense color saturation.
Can you use regular dye or pigment inks with the system?
For the optimal impressions, we recommend using BetterPress Ink. Traditional dye inks also provide a beautiful, clean transfer, as do Archival Inks; however, neither give the rich impression that you get from BetterPress Ink because of the dye level. Pigment inks tend to create a blurry transfer and are messy to work with on the press plates and magnetic platform.
How much Ink does a BetterPress transfer use?
We tested a variety of ink pad sizes and found the mini–ink pad to work the best. It was manageable for all size of images and line thicknesses in addition to making less mess than larger pads. However, because of the smaller pad size and increased ink saturation in the cotton paper, you will use more ink. Refill bottles are available for each color ink, and the pads and refills will last for hundreds of impressions.
Can I use regular cardstock with the system?
Yes, any cardstock will work with the system; however, to get the full letterpress effect – an impression you can see and feel – we recommend cotton cardstock. Spellbinders offers the Cotton Cardstock in two weights, 118 lb. and 220 lb. double weight for a deeper and more luxurious impression.
Can I color the images with watercolors, alcohol markers or other mediums?
BetterPress Ink is an oil-based dye ink, ideal for coloring with watercolor, colored pencils and other dye inks. While technically possible to color with alcohol markers, you may get feathering.
FAQ - LAUNCH & TIMING
What does the launch timeline look like?
Spellbinders will unveil the system at Namta, teaching classes and offering in-booth demonstrations, but will not broadly announce the launch publicly until May 6th. At midnight on May 6th, we will launch a video debuting the system on YouTube and will also promote it on social media and other channels. The system will not ship to end consumers until June 17th, which is the global launch date.
When can retailers begin ordering?
Retailers will be able to start ordering the system, inks, press plates and cardstock on May 5th. Orders will begin shipping the week of May 30th. However, no products are to begin shipping to consumers until June 17th, the global launch day.
On May 6th, Spellbinderspaperarts.com will begin taking pre-orders on a curated bundle for sale on the website, but will not offer the full collection at that time. These pre-orders will not begin shipping until the official launch date, which is June 17th.
Can I preview the system with my customers prior to May 6th?
Yes, you are welcome to share the system with customers in your store, and even via social media channels prior to May 6th; however, the system is not to be offered for sale online until May 6th, and again, not to be shipped until June 17th.
What are you doing to support the independent retailer?
In addition to teaching two classes at Namta, Spellbinders is offering a live virtual retailer training session with a Q&A on May 22nd. Further, we will provide assets, pdfs and videos to help you share the BetterPress system with your customers. We are also offering a smartly priced press plate/die set exclusively to independent retailers which can be used as a value add, to create a unique bundle or however you see fit.
Let’s talk about pricing.
The system is not to be reduced more than 10% in price at the time of launch (through the end of June) to ensure an even playing field. That pricing policy applies to the system, inks, press plates and cardstock. However, you are welcome to curate special bundles with additional products to build in additional value.