The glorious return of hand-crafted invitations
A rediscovery of an old-world technique.
Recently, we have seen the glorious return of hand-crafted, old-world production methods for invitations, stationery and any printed piece that needs to feel especially unique. The use of letterpressing, a 15th century technique, had fallen out of favor as digital presses became more mainstream. But while full color printing became the norm, those with a discerning eye desired a return to something that felt less machined, and ironically, returned to a process where each invitation must be made, one at a time, by a machine powered by a craftsman.
This process pushes a plate into the face of the paper, creating an indentation. The plates are coated with ink and according to the relationship of the ink and the type of paper (uncoated, coated, rough, smooth) a multitude of techniques can be created. This process must be repeated for each color that will be added to the paper, using a different plate for each color, but can even be used without any ink on the plate to create a lovely effect called a blind impression. This hand-pressed process creates an individuality since each piece will have a slightly different bite. From the talented folks at the Cranky Pressman:
Letterpress printing is a technique of relief printing using a printing press. A worker composes and locks movable type into the bed of a press, inks it, and presses paper against it to transfer the ink from the type.
Bite is the depression or indentation that occurs in the paper’s surface when the image is letterpressed with a heavy impression weight. Bite often is what bedazzles people about letterpress and what sets it apart form other forms of printing. However, the amount of bite must be carefully considered when designing for letterpress. Too much bite can be dangerous.
Make your next event even more memorable
The “Country Flair” letterpressed invitation is by the talented team at 42 Pressed