Recently we had some beautiful new stationary made by a local, family owned letterpress company who specialise in this unmistakeable and unique printing process. We wanted to share our behind the scenes photos from the press, as well as the distinct end product!
Letterpress is a relief print method, which when combined with the right paper or 'stock', creates a handcrafted, tactile quality.
A truly ancient artform, letterpress dates back as far as A.D 175 in China. From those early days until the 1400s, the process remained more or less unchanged, with non-printing areas cut away from blocks of wood or stone.
In the mid 15th Century, German pioneer Johannes Gutenberg invented a mechanical printing process which not only revolutionised print, but played a key role in into the Renaissance, Age of Enlightenment and laid the foundations for a knowledge based economy. Books could now be produced faster, cheaper, and in greater quantities, allowing information and ideas to be shared and human knowledge expanded.
Gutenberg invented a way of creating moveable type by casting individual letters from molten metal. This remained the principal printing method throughout the world until the late 1960s when offset litho began to be adopted by the print industry.
Although letterpress printing has been entirely forsaken by the industry in favour of other methods better suited to mass production, letterpress still has much to offer. It's a beautiful and ancient technique which adds another dimension to an inked surface and we are delighted with the results.