Letterpress printing is a holdover from the 19th Century, being kept alive by a small band of dedicated artists. Whereas offset lithography printing lays ink down on the surface of paper using rubber rollers, letterpress pushes ink coated metal type onto the paper under pressure. Letterpress literally creates indentations in the paper that you can see and feel. I'm sure that 100 years ago it was easy to find poorly designed and badly executed letterpress print jobs, it has since evolved into an art form. Nobody survives in the letterpress printing business these days except by being excellent.
Letterpress printing is not my thing, personally, except for a 3 month stint in 7th grade shop class many moons ago. Letterpress printing is very expensive compared to other printing technologies. 1000 business cards designed and executed for letterpress could reasonably cost $800, or more.
Yet, just looking at the beauty and artistry of letterpress printing on a fine thick cotton card stock fills me with appreciation.
The above sample was created by Erin McCall, who is Principal of Sunlit Media, a freelance graphic, web, and identity design firm and letterpress studio based in Vancouver, BC. See her post: Happy New Year! - Adventures in Letterpress
Surrey, British Columbia
CANADA V3S 3B8