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Know Everything About Letterpress Printing

By November 3, 2022News

Letterpress Printing has a long, rich history and is today used for everything, from newspapers and books to wedding invitations and business cards. It’s a very simple technique that makes a big impact wherever it is used and which offers plenty of opportunity for creativity and unique design. If you’re keen to find out more about Letterpress Printing, this is what you need to know.

Letterpress Printing was invented in China

To be precise, movable type printing is now thought to have originated in China in 1041 – and then four centuries later was also discovered in Europe. When this type of printing made it to Europe it was the work of Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany in 1440 that first brought Letterpress Printing into the mainstream in this part of the world. Gutenberg invented an adjustable type mold that meant many types could be cast at once and so books could be printed much faster. The first plates that were used were simple, flat wooden boards with areas hollowed out in the specified design.

What kind of plates do we use today?

Most Letterpress Printing plates today are made by hand or using letterpress machines or phototypesetting machines. Where illustrations are involved, these plates are made using stereotyped blocks created through etching or engraving. There are lots of different plates and techniques available to produce distinctive results in Letterpress Printing today. For example, flexible plates where the relief image is created by etching blanks in a metal plate or ‘washing’ in a photopolymer layer on a carrier sheet.

What can you use Letterpress Printing for?

Plate making today is simple and fast, which means that Letterpress Printing can be used for just about any product, including large runs of newspapers, magazines and books. It’s also a great tool for designs that are meant for a smaller audience and have a more specific purpose, such as wedding invites or postcards. Letterpress Printing creates a sharp, precise image and a slight indentation that gives it a pleasingly textural and high-quality finish, which is very appealing. It is often used to convey a sense of luxury and to create a truly unique design.

What do you need to know about using Letterpress Printing?

It is a great way to produce high-quality work that can be completed at speed, which is why it’s such a popular choice as a printing option. It can take time to adjust the press to account for different thickness or type of plates, which is something to bear in mind if you’re considering using Letterpress Printing. New plates that are made from photosensitive plastic film that can be mounted on metal have been developed to help speed up the process. In fact, evolution is happening in Letterpress Printing all the time.

Letterpress Printing is one of the oldest communication styles and used frequently today. It’s as effective for a run of newspapers as for individual wedding invites and provides a wealth of opportunities for creativity and unique and high-quality design.

Metallic Elephant type-high letterpress blocks deliver a deep impression on your products, but not on your wallet. Our letterpress plates remain crisp and sharp with straight shoulders to ensure fine or bold detailing every single time. Get in touch to discuss your needs.