What is Letterpress?

When Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type in 1450, letterpress was the only printing method used. The letterpress technique is done by using inked cast lead type (or plates) and impressing them directly onto the printing surface. Ink rollers touch only the top of the raised surface and transfer this ink onto the page, resulting in a tactile feel in which the type or image is depressed into the paper.

Below is a diagram on how to print a sheet on a Kelsey Excelsior Press.

 

 

Why we do it

We love the letterpress technique because it creates a beautiful effect which combines texture, color, and dimension. Each piece we print is made in limited quantities and is folded, bound, and finished off by hand. We believe this makes our one-of-a-kind product tactile and unique in a world of digitally reproduced items. Though letterpress printing is a tedious process that involves hand setting type or carving graphics, it is one that is definitely worth its beautiful results.

 

 

Lead type all laid out for printing

 

Each sheet of paper is hand fed one at a time

 

The tactile quality of letterpress