What is Letterpress

The following is an explanation of what makes letterpress such an attractive printing method for your stationery, invitations, announcements and other fine paper needs. 

Letterpress printing is a form of relief printing that uses a mechanical press to apply an inked raised surface against paper to produce a printed product. Johann Gutenberg invented the first such press in the 1400's. 

history of letterpress

Early letterpress used wooden and metal type that was handset into the printing press to achieve the desired layout. Printers made use of complete font sets that ranged from signs and symbols to letters and numbers as part of their trade. Early designs were limited due to the lack of availability of specific shapes and fonts. Letterpress was the primary printing method until the middle of the 20th century. More recently, letterpress printing has seen a revival as an art form.   

Letterpress Type

Letterpress printing has evolved into a medium that combines digital technology with the original presses in order to produce the amazing pieces you see today. At Dinglewood Design and Press we take digital vector files (illustrator AI & EPS files) and produce photopolymer plates from film negatives. These plates are then mounted to a base and mounted inside the press. The plate is then inked and pressed into high-quality paper with great force in order to transfer the ink and impression. The impression is what gives letterpress it’s unique three-dimensional feel and separates it from other forms of printing. There are almost no limits as to what can be printed using modern letterpress techniques!  

letterpress printing Dinglewood Design and Press photopolymer plates Christy and Lauren




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