WHAT IS LETTERPRESS?
Letterpress is a type of relief printing. It was invented by Johannes Gutenberg around 1440, though some evidence suggests that its creation should also be accredited to Laurens Coster. Gutenberg used a modified screw press and moveable type (single letters cast in type which could be assembled to make words) to create printed material. Letterpress printing quickly became the standard in printing just as digital printing is today. In fact, it was almost totally annihilated by the introduction of offset and digital printing. Fortunately, it made a huge resurgeance in the 1980s due to its first (and arguably only) major modernization: photopolymer printing plates. The use of photopolymer linked letterpress to digital printing by providing a means by which one can transfer digital designs to a plate that can be used in a printing press. We utilize both the traditional letterpress methods and digital methods.
SEE THE PROCESS
Be inspired by client consultation and ideas. Sketch art, set type designs, or do both! Transfer digital designs to polymer for use in the printing press.
Line the polymer printing plate up on the base, or lock up the wood or metal type in the printing frame (chase) to put in printing press.
3. Get Messy
Hand mix ink colors to match a pantone color or experiment with new colors. Determine the appopriate amount of ink for the design and apply to ink plate - let press run to even ink coverage.
4. Line it Up
Set the paper up on the platen in the right spot to receive the image transfer. Make sure this (registration) is right and set metal pins (gauge pins) to act as paper holders.
6. Start the Presses!
Start the press, run the job, hand feeding each sheet of paper individually through the press. Repeat for each color of print.