The oldest method of printing, letterpress is characterized by the beautiful finished result wherein one can ‘feel’ the printed content. Having originated in the 15th century, it remained the primary mode of printing for nearly five centuries. Discovered by Johannes Gutenberg, the ‘Small Press Movement’ played a significant role in ensuring the technique stood up to the advances of modern technology. Today, it has become more of an art form and is more concentrated on a niche market.
How It Works
Letterpress printing works on a simple principle in which a raised image is created on a metal block with the required differences in height to create clean prints with etched images. The ink used is usually of high pigment levels to provide sharp images. Every single colour has to be printed individually in this process.
Platen, flat bed, and rotary presses are the main letterpress printing devices used in current times. The end result is raised, inked lettering or images that are crisp and clean. This is why a letterpress wedding invitation looks more elegant and gives out a dignified aura as opposed to regular invitations.
Types of Impressions
Letterpress impressions can be classified into two—embossing and debossing. In the former, a raised image is obtained while in the latter, a depressed image is obtained. No ink is transferred in either and the paper is pressed between a two-sided die.
Advantages of Letterpress
There is no doubt that letterpress cards are unique and underline one-of-a-kind craftsmanship. Besides this, a letterpress invitation is sure to have greater visual definition in comparison to other forms of printing. This technique is perfect for use on thick and heavy card paper or for purposes that require specific typography. The etched impressions create a rich texture that conveys intimacy and uniqueness on a different level.
Letterpress invitation cards can be used for all kinds of events from weddings to bar mitzvahs to birth announcements and bridal showers. Event promotion posters are increasingly featuring letterpress styles while letterpress business cards have been in vogue for long.