In the 1440s, Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized printing when he created “moveable type,” letters and symbols carved on metal plates that could easily be rearranged. By rolling ink onto those plates and pressing the inked plates onto paper, the modern printing press was born.This new system caught on quickly and replaced the traditional (and very laborious) method of hand scribing. For the next 500 years, the printing press evolved and expanded; the majority of paper goods, from books to newspapers, stationery and more was printed via a printing press.

 

Letterpress Machine

“Proof Press in Rupriikki Media Museum” by Joonas Suominen

 

Flatbed_Letterpress_Diagram

Flatbed Letterpress Diagram

 

In the 1980’s with the advent of computers and digital printing, printing presses fell out of favor; many publishing companies and newspapers sold the presses or replaced them with the new technology. .

Fortunately for all of us, there have been artisans who were inspired by the beauty of this art form and acquired antique presses thus keeping the skill alive. In the past two decades there has been a revival in letterpress printing and it has evolved into the craft we know it today, filled with luxurious cotton papers and ink imprinted more deeply into the paper resulting in a light impression, the result is stunning a work of art.

 

As letterpress printing is one of our personal favorite forms of printing, we have provided the following tips to keep in mind when deciding if this method is right for your invitations:

  • Letterpress invitations are the gold standard for formal events.
  • Each page is pressed manually one by one, as a result the process takes much longer than digital printing (which is why it costs so much more) but allows for greater attention to detail and control.
  • We recommend using a maximum of two-three colors as each plate uses a different color and is pressed separately (which also adds to the cost). Consider overlapping colors to expand the color palette.
  • For the best impression, font size should be 8pt or larger and lines should be larger than .25pt. Anything smaller will result in poor or no transfer of ink.
  • Double sided printing requires thicker paper (we recommend 220lb) as the impression will leave an indent on the back of thinner paper.

Any more suggestions? Let us know below!

Letterpress Invitation Deco

Letterpress deco theme invitation with custom embellished pocket

Beach Invitation

Beach themed wedding invitation with starfish invitation box with letterpress and gold foil invitation.

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