A Lesson in Letterpress

Here is an article that gives a very good history of letterpress printing. Letterpress 101 offers a video demo of the letterpress printing process and an essay that reviews the history of printing—starting with the Gutenberg press. As you read the article you will definitely recognize a few familiar names. Are you surprised that a press as primitive as the letterpress is still used? Considering what we’ve learned so far, what type of projects would this press be best suited?

7 thoughts on “A Lesson in Letterpress

  1. I’m not really surprised that the letterpress is still used. As our culture grows ever more sophisticated, many people feel the need to return to a simpler time. Witness the success of the artisanal food movement, whose motto may as well be “Slower is Better.” People enjoy doing things the long way. I often look at Etsy the website that sells handcrafted wares directly from the artists, and there is a profusion of letterpress goods.
    I think the projects that would work best for a letterpress are invitations, cards, and smaller posters.

  2. I am also not surprised that they letterpress is still being used today. The letterpress produces good quality and does what it is suppose to do. I think that this is one of those things were you don’t want to reinvent the wheel. Today, we are always trying to innovate old things to keep it up with time. I don’t necessarily think that that is a bad thing but sometime when this happen, the quality of whatever it is gets compromise for the sake of modernization.

  3. I think the letterpress being used today is a little strange but it really shows that we are not forgetting where we are coming from. Technology has come a long way since the invention of the letterpress but the letterpress is a very important part of the development of typography and design.

  4. Before I attended this course, I never thought about a printing, and I did not know there are many different printings. For example, letterpress, lithography, gravure, flexography, screen printing. Previously, I only know about the screen printing, and I saw how the people used the screen printing. I only knew that it is used for printing T-shirts on nylon, cotton, and other textiles. I remember that some of my friends who created a design and printing a T-shirts were using screen printing. It was very interesting.

  5. Letterpress is printing from the surface of a raised image. However, it is less than five percent of all printing in the United States and it will continue to decline. I think letterpress will be stopped to use in printing later. However, we still can find this information on the internet.

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