The Value of Letterpress

Posted by Lauren 'Lou' Skayhan on

Letterpress has been gaining popularity over recent years as this traditional style of printing is being revamped with modern day styles. While the designs are being modernized, letterpress has always created high-quality handmade pieces— a little bit of luxury for our lives that is being appreciated once again. For centuries, letterpress was the leading method of printing since its invention in the 1400s, but now most people turn to digital printing (think inkjet and laser printers) as it is cheaper, faster, and more accessible. Antique letterpress machines were being sent to the scrapyard in droves, but luckily artisans and stationery lovers alike have been rediscovering the classic art of letterpress and saving these antique printing presses for a new generation.

People often wonder about the value of letterpress over conventional printing methods. Today I’m going to share with you why letterpress will exceed your expectations and create unique characteristics that cannot be replicated by other printing methods.

I want to start by saying that there is beautiful work being done with each method of printing. Each style has blazed a trail for another, and they all have their strengths. Being able to print faster and less expensively can often trump many other factors, but letterpress has its unique value and I’m excited to share it with you.

One of the most cherished characteristics of letterpress pieces is their heirloom quality.

When I say heirloom quality, I am referring to the keepsake value of the item. Letterpress pieces are often printed on a higher quality cotton paper which will stand the test of time, with ink pressed into the paper that won’t bleed or discolor. The careful selection of exceptional materials meant to complement the letterpress printing means the item you place in a keepsake box will look just as beautiful as the day you received it when you reflect on it years down the road.

What’s more is that letterpress printing creates a striking and elegant impression in the paper.

In letterpress, a custom printing plate is made with the design. This printing plate is inked and then pressed into the paper by an antique printing press. This process creates a tactile impression in the paper that is stunning to see and feel. The result is a high-end letterpress piece that is certain to have an impact on the recipient that no other style of printing can provide.

Without aiming to do so, letterpress goods connect a person, event, wedding, or business with quality, elegance, and substance.

When you run your fingers over a piece of letterpress stationery-- from a thank you note, to a wedding suite or business card, the piece itself exudes luxury. It’s often these small details that are most memorable and give insight into the personality and feel of the person behind the note card, or the couple and the style of their upcoming wedding, or a business and its principles. This is the beauty of letterpress and why so many find it worth the extra time and investment.


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