Letterpress has enjoyed quite a revival over the past few years. So what exactly is letterpress and what makes it so special?
In a nutshell, letterpress printing is a very old method of printing in which the words (type) and/or images are raised above a non-printed area. This is accomplished by cutting a printing block out of wood or various metals, then coating the remaining raised surfaces with ink. The prepared block is then placed into the press and pressed against the paper.
Letterpress printing gives the printed piece a 3-dimensional effect by pushing the ink into the paper.
The oldest method of “relief” type printing, letterpress was the most successful and most common form of printing until the 1950's when it was replaced by more efficient, high-speed methods.
|Advertising letterpress set, Vintage Lancaster|
|Letterpress baseball collection, Oceanside Castle|
|News Gothic condensed letterpress, 6 Cats Vintage|
|Wood letterpress collection, BMT Vintage|
Today, you can find a myriad of vintage letterpress supplies and type pieces on Etsy that are great to collect and display, or use for creating new pieces that utilize this historic method of printing.