What is letterpress printing?
Letterpress printing is a method of printing in which the words (type) and/or images are raised above the non-printed areas. It gives a 3 dimensional effect by pushing the ink into the paper; the visible depth of the characters depends on both the stock of paper and what is being printed.
The letterpress printing process
It is the oldest method of “relief” type printing and is accomplished by cutting a printing block, often using hand tools, and then coating the remaining raised surfaces with ink. This prepared block is then placed into the press, and during production, is pressed against the paper.
History of letterpress printing
Letterpress printing, begun in Europe in the 14th century as an alternative to calligraphy, offers an elegant and sophisticated look for the discerning consumer. In the past, the paper was not always pressed to such a degree that it became indented. Today, however, the indentations of the lettering are often preferred.
Letterpress printing today
The letterpress was commonly used following it’s creation though it experienced a lull in popularity during the mid-20th century. At that time, people were turning other printing options that yielded a higher volume at a lower price. The technique was mostly done by printers rather than a designer or artist. However, in the last decade or so, letterpress printing has gone through a revival of sorts, becoming increasingly popular for high-end wedding invitations and table cards, personal stationary, announcements, and more. Now, in light of the high demand for letterpress styling, you can find a variety of options at most reputable stationary stores. Our associates at The Dandelion Patch are experts in the art of letterpress.
Letterpress is eco-friendly
Beyond style, today’s customer is also looking to be more earth-conscious. Another benefit of letterpress invitations, stationery or announcements is the fact that most letterpress machines require a heavy, cotton-based (read: tree-free) paper to produce their beautiful indentations. In addition, because of the significant human power it takes to create the die cuts for personalized orders, most letterpress is not mass produced. Thus, letterpress products are usually “green” and offer less of a carbon footprint than other printing alternatives.
Where is letterpress printing used?
Because letterpress is exquisite in nature, eco-friendly in production, and luxurious in texture, you typically find the process being used for those once-in-a-lifetime milestone events, such as:
- birth annoucements