Letterpress, Digital, Offset Printing

Award Winning Specialist Printing Company

Situated in Birkenhead on Auckland's North Shore

EST. 1989



GTO Printers is a small specialist printing company in Birkenhead on the North Shore of Auckland, New Zealand. We have invested in quality Heidelberg offset presses, and a Xerox digital printer for our printing, and for our letterpress work we use a Heidelberg 10x15 platen, widely known as the 'Prince of Presses'. We offer thermographic (heat raised) printing, trimming, and can supply unique print capabilities not found in copy-shops  or larger print shops.  We are not designers, traditional press work is our life and livelihood , and we endeavour to give you the very best we can. Learn more about us.


We use offset, letterpress and digital printing machines, and choose the best suited machine for each job. From business card size to oversize A3, from 45 gsm to 600gsm, we have presses to supply businesses and home users most of your printing requirements. And do the finishing work too. See our services.


GTO Printers offers letterpress workshops throughout the year to anyone interested in an enjoyable hands-on alternative experience to computer design. The workshops are for beginners, no experience necessary. For those wanting to handle type and operate a small press, here is your chance.

Specials For March

2017 WORKSHOP DATES - Feb 25, Mar 18, April 22, May 20, June 17.



Situated in Birkenhead on Auckland's North Shore, we are just 15 minutes from the Auckland CBD, and with plenty of free parking right outside, we are very accessible. 23 Enterprise Street, Birkenhead
Auckland 0626, New Zealand
Phone: +64 9 480 0218
Fax: +64 9 480 0238


“The past comes to our rescue once again.” - Annie

GTO Printers is  a small specialist printing company situated in Birkenhead on the North Shore of Auckland. We offer unique print capabilities not found in many other printing businesses. The business is situated just 5 minutes walk from the centre of Birkenhead.

Graham Judd, the owner, trained as a letterpress machinist, then retrained on offset, and later set up the company, now at 23 Enterprise Street, Birkenhead. Graham has experience in all aspects of the printing trade, and is the hands on printer at GTO.

As well as the normal print jobs done by small commercial printers, we enjoy the challenge of those odd little jobs that other printers and copyshops may find too fiddly, or don't have some of the specialised equipment to do. And we use the services of other printers and the local bookbinder when required.

The Environment

We are an environmentally conscious company, and endeavour to make all print processes as clean and green as possible. Letterpress and offset printing uses environmentally friendly inks and washes and the trade in general is very environmentally aware. We use vegetable oil based inks, and encourage the use of recycled papers and boards. Laser copiers and printers use carbon based toners, which are not recycleable or biodegradeable, and with the regularity that copier companies promote upgrading of their machines, they are not considered a particularly environmental form of printing.


Letterpress printing

We have taken step back in technology and installed a Heidelberg 10 x 15 platen, which is fast becoming the most popular press at GTO Printers, especially for wedding stationery and business cards. We picked up a highly commended award for our letterpress work in the prestigious New Zealand 'Pride In Print' awards.

People are discovering letterpress printing on the internet and are excited to learn that computer generated text and graphics can be transferred on to a medium which can be letterpress printed.

There is much interest in letterpress for wedding and social invitation printing as well as business cards, garment labels, drink coasters, and greetings cards, etc. We use  imported cotton based boards from USA to show off letterpress to its best. As well the press will number, perforate, emboss and die cut, all with precision register. We also have a flatbed proofing press which will print letterpress posters using our selection of large wood type.

Offset printing

Our two Heidelberg offset presses handle most stocks from SRA3 down to business card size. We can print any size envelope, and odd size boards and textures that are a problem with digital machines. The A3 Quickmaster 46 handles two and three spot colour printing and is very efficient for medium to long print/copy runs. The A4 TOK has online numbering, ideal for carbonless docket book work and raffle tickets, etc. Our computer-to-plate system makes an efficient and very acceptable quality plate for printing short to medium runs. Offset is the best alternative for business stationery where the sheets will be put through a digital printer later.

Digital printing

Our Xerox 5065 digital printer is ideal for short runs of black/white or colour printing. For clean, crisp, beautiful colour copies up to SRA3 size, this machine is exceptional. We have a folder-stapler online which will turn your document into booklet form. There are limitations on the stocks that will print well, and laser prints cannot be reprinted through another laser printer, but for short/medium runs of mono or colour printing it is very efficient. We normally have a small charge for file download and making it print-ready, but with a properly setup file, you will find this will give you great quality economically.


Because nearly every print job is a custom job and requires its own pricing, we do not have a standard set of prices. The type of paper, the number of colours and mixes, whether we have film made out or use our computer-to-plate system, and a host of other variables dictate which press is the most suitable, and how we will cost the job. Our pricing is based on a $60 hourly rate.

Some customers send digital files in for printing thinking they have done all the work, when in reality there can be plenty of issues that cause the printer extra time getting it 'print-ready'. If you request a price, please be aware that we can only give an estimate if we haven't sighted and checked your artwork. Contact us for a free quote.


If you are preparing your own files for printing, here are a few things that will be helpful to us, and possibly save you money.

Artwork prepared in Microsoft  programmes for offset or letterpress printing, are likely to have some issues that require extra work. Also, without a printed copy from a customer, we cannot take responsibility for what actually prints, as occasional jobs emailed to us, mysteriously change in cyberspace, and are not the same when printed on our machines. This seems to be a common problem to all printers, with files prepared by customers.

For offset and letterpress printing, vector images are best, with text changed to curves/paths. Unless there is to be hairline register between two colours, or artwork that bleeds, you can set your page size to the finished size required. This may save you film and nyloplate costs. Send it in the approximate colours, with pantone numbers, and also a black /white version with everything set to 100% black.

EPS, Illustrator, and Xara files, and any Acorn files saved as PDFs are normally acceptable for letterpress and offset work. Images are best as 300dpi TIFFs or JPEGs.

We will also accept MS Word and Publisher files, Powerpoint and Exel files for digital printing.


I am a hoarder. But the junk I have collected over quite a long time can now be finally displayed to the world, thanks to this blog! Items I will add to this blog are all related to the printing trade and are things I have used at some time during my 45 years as a printer. Read my blog.

Learn the basics of letterpress in one day workshop

NEXT WORKSHOP: Contact us on our workshop email or phone for more info. Watch for new workshop dates...

2017 workshops

  • Sat, Feb 25
  • Sat, March 18
  • Sat, April 22
  • Sat, May 20
  • Sat, June 17

Workshop Cost

Cost is $140 plus GST per person, max of 4 people. A deposit will be required to confirm your place.

Video introduction

Please take a look at our YouTube video channel which includes couple introduction videos about GTO printers.

Workshop structure

Part 1: Handset and print type in a creative way
(9.30am - 12.30pm) Jumping straight in, participants will draw on an eclectic collection of lead and wood type and ornaments, to design and print a page of a font catalogue.

Part 2: Letterpress Postcard
(1.00pm - 4.00pm) Participants will design and produce a set of personal cards with their own choice of subject. This is an opportunity to create your own; choose a quote from a book, a favourite poem or for inspiration, if time permits we will compose and print a group poster on the proofing press.

The workshops are run by Graham Judd, owner of GTO Printers, and qualified letterpress machinist, with help from other letterpress enthusiasts.

Tara McLeod helping (on the right). Tara is probably New Zealand's most experimental letterpress printer working with wood and metal
An Adana press is ideal for learning the principles of letterpress printing. Lesley Smith (at right) oversees ladies hard at work! Lesley is a very competent letterpress lady, and is happy passing on her knowledge.
This is a time to forget computers, and concentrate on handling inky type and paper. Time flies when you're letterpress printing.

History of Letterpress printing

In about 1440, Johannes Gutenberg is credited with the invention of modern movable type printing from individually cast, reusable letters set together in a form (frame). He also invented a wooden printing press, based on the extant wine press, where the type surface was inked with leather covered ink balls and paper laid carefully on top by hand, then slid under a padded surface and pressure applied from above by a large threaded screw. Later metal presses used a knuckle and lever arrangement instead of the screw, but the principle was the same. Ink rollers made of composition made inking faster and paved the way for further automation. With the advent of industrial mechanisation, the inking was carried out by rollers which would pass over the face of the type and move out of the way onto a separate ink plate where they would pick up a fresh film of ink for the following sheet. Meanwhile... Read more about letterpress history.


GTO Printers Limited

23 Enterprise Street, Birkenhead
Auckland 0626, New Zealand

Phone: +64 9 480 0218
Fax: +64 9 480 0238
Email: graham@gtoprinters.co.nz

We are open Monday to Friday
8.30am until 5.30pm.

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