The Art Of Letterpress: A Big Comeback

Today's modern printing techniques have come a long way as technology has made creating a wide array of products easier than ever before. The art of printing using a method called letterpress has made a big comeback in recent years. This method takes time and talent, yet it produces some of the most beautiful printed works available.

What is Letterpress?

Unlike items created using a traditional computerized ink-based printer, letterpress involves hand-printing each item individually. Letters and images are in the form of a stamp, and are attached to a printing plate, and then various ink colors are applied. The letters are arranged backwards so that when they print, they come out in the correct direction. Each piece of paper, cloth, or other medium is then placed over the press, and the image is hand stamped using pressure, thus the name letterpress.

This old method of printing was used back when newspapers were some of the first ways to get printed material to a mass audience. Workers would meticulously place each word onto a plate one by one, then press them into the paper after ink was applied. It was a time-consuming way to print, but at the time it was the only way to create something in a larger quantity that people could read. The oldest known letterpress item was a copy of the Bible in 1455, printed by Johannes Gutenberg.

The Popularity of Letterpress Today

While the modern way of printing is certainly much more common today, letterpress is having a sort of renaissance. Many colleges offer courses in this old printing method, encouraging creativity and imagination in new styles and designs. Stationary and T-shirt companies and small businesses are now using letterpress to market their wares, since it has a nice aesthetic appeal. Everything from birthday cards to tea towels are now being sold with letterpress printed designs.

Letterpress essentially became obsolete around the 1980s with the development of computers and printers. But many artists today consider this printing style a lost art form that needs to be revitalized. There are workshops where people can learn how to create their own templates and designs, and then see them come to life. Consumers are also looking for products with a more personal touch and items that are individually made by hand. Letterpress materials are all hand-stamped, which means their popularity has grown greatly over the last several years. Talk to a professional like Scan Copy Print for more information.