Things to know about Letterpress

by | Oct 15, 2020

Invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century, the technique uses a printing press (a machine) and movable types to print. A type is a metal (usually lead) or a wooden block with a raised and reversed letter (or image) carved on it. A series of such types arranged together to form sentences. These are then placed on a frame, inked, and pressed into paper to produce a positive, right-reading print of the letters or images.

Letterpress printing is largely handwork.
Since the printing machine is not hooked up to a computer, types and image plates are usually set by hand.

Expect slight variations
There will be slight differences in the inking impression, position, and desntiy of colour since the process is handworked.

Each colour is printed separately
So a design with two or more colours takes a longer time to print, unlike digital or offset printing which uses a four-colour process.

The beauty of letterpress is meant to be subtle
So there’s no need to have a play of colours. What works best is a simple design, one colour, and the right choice of font.

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