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Print Q&A | Talk to Al

alfawcett_watermarxThe printing industry is full of characters. Our head printer and co-founder, Al Fawcett, is one of them. He has been in the printing trade for longer than he (or we) care to remember, and brings with him a wealth of experience, wisdom and classic lines (“ Just because you have a Ferrari doesn’t mean you know how to drive” is a personal favourite.)

In this Q&A, we pick his brains on the printing game, letterpress and all things Watermarx.


First job in printing was?

I was Letterpress printer at Mockridge Bulmer and I was an apprentice with them.  – I was running the same machines that I am running today as a letterpress printer. From there printing industry moved to Lithographic printing – So I moved with the times. But have now found myself back at grass roots and carrying out the trade I was originally trained in.

Why did you decided to branch out on your own?

We had developed some pretty amazing technology (which later led us to CLIQX ) and we wanted to see if commercially it was viable. Well – it is and Watermarx is the proof of its success.

What do you love about the industry?

Loyal customers. Bringing someone’s design concept to life.

What do you love about letterpress?

It’s a real craft. I appreciate being able to tackle each job on its own merit. I like that we can make a living from a craft that was given its last rights more times than Dracula – Letterpress is impossible to kill.  It has a place in the market when a point of difference is required

What do you wish your clients knew?

An appreciation of timelines! Letterpress is not a matter of pushing a button like digital print!

Best advice anyone ever gave you about your work?

My Dad worked at Mockeridge Bulmer where I did my apprenticeship. He probably taught me more than any other printer. Although one piece of advice that I always remember was: “You are only as good as your last job.”

Favourite thing to do in your workshop?

Make happy customers

The big secret is…?

Customer service. Talk the job through with your client before you start! Make sure you understand the end-concept, and then help the customer to get there.



Please note – Watermarx will close for the Christmas  / New year break from 20th December until Thursday 9th January. To ensure your jobs are completed before the Christmas break – please place orders by Wednesday 11th December. 

Posted by watermarx on the 28th of November 2013

In The Mood For Love


It’s our tip, lovebirds (from our many years of experience printing your invites) that something happens around this time of year that creates a spike in engagements. Put it down to all the mistletoe and champagne.

If you find yourself or someone you care about down on bended knee this Christmas or New Year, then it won’t be long before you will need to get thinking about dates. Save the Dates, in particular. These are cute little reminders that guarantee as early as possible that your friends know about your wedding date, even if you haven’t decided on anything else (except, perhaps, who you are planning on marrying.)

We have seen, in recent times, some incredible advances in technology, pushing the limits of print. But one thing we have noticed is that the technology seems unable to never believable reproduce depth and texture on the screen. There is nothing that can replicate the wonderful feel of letterpress printing.

The tips of our fingers will never cease to delight in running over the indentation of the impression, and the slightly burnished surface of the opposite side. It is a sensation that evokes a very simple, deeply human pleasure  connecting to the history of handmade crafts.

That’s why letterpress and print embellishments are a beautiful part of our clients’ special occasions. The celebration of what it is to be human, calls for the magic of this tactile art.

One designer who understands this very well, is designer Clare Stuban ( who created the artwork for this pretty “Save The Date” (pictured) for her own wedding.  She brought in a few of our processes, including foiling the edge and date in gold, the date was also embossed to pop, we letterpressed the text and die-cut the unique shape she chose. It was printed on BJ Ball’s Stardream Opal 285 GSM, for a shimmery finish.

Another timeless art is calligraphy and we’re lucky enough to see excellent examples of the work of professional letterers, right here in our workshop. Clare asked Calligraphy By Jennifer to create a bespoke handwriting style for some wording on the front and back of the invitation.

So, enjoy the magic of this most romantic time of year and remember that one of the best ways to share your special moments with others, is by thinking of special touches that activate the senses and make a memorable impression.

Posted by watermarx on the 22nd of November 2013

Shiny Happy People! (We *love* foil stamping)


We’ve put on our tin foil hats this week to talk foiling because we’re sure we aren’t the only ones who have noticed that things are getting decidedly tinsel-y around here.

If you’re going to start blinging up your graphic design with foil stamping (and we certainly suggest that you do) there are a few tricks and tips we would love share with you before you begin.


Tips & Tricks for Designing With Foil


Not all paper like foils.

It’s sad but true that not all paper is as fond of foil stamping as we are, so choose your stock carefully. Some (not all!) textured papers can crack under the pressure of foiling, and occasionally the foil can “pick” in the hills and valleys of the paper surface. Printers overcome this by applying extra pressure, but this may cause an impression on the reverse side, which you or your client might not be ok with.  As always, it’s a case by case thing.  If you have selected a particular stock for a design you are planning to foil, the best thing you can do is give us a call at Watermarx and talk it over before you get designing, so we can figure out your options together.


Some paper just loves foil.

When it comes to paper that just loves foil stamping, the heavier the stock, the better. Heavier stocks can take the pressure of being stamped. Because most foils are opaque and smooth, choosing a darker coloured paper creates a great contrast and visual impact. Pastel foils on light colour papers can create lovely subtle effects, too.


Pro Foiling Tip

The major foil suppliers in Australia are Milford Astor, Kurz and API, and they supply a huge range of colours and specialty foils. But, if there is a particular PMS colour you need to match you can always print a colour and foil clear over it, which can give some very snazzy results.


Trending: #Rose Gold Foil

The romance, the femininity and the something-new-at-last! factor of the beautiful rose gold trend, is seeing it swirled across wedding and engagement invitations, and booming in the cosmetics/fragrance packaging world.  


Trending: #Classic Still Packs a Punch

Just like this Katy Perry design we foiled for Tim at Designed Biaccident (pictured), classic is eternally classy. Traditional gold or silver foil stamping is still our most popular and it still always looks so good. For a lot of luxury without breaking the budget, you can hardly go wrong with a good old-fashioned foil!

Posted by watermarx on the 13th of November 2013