Letterpress printing has become the go-to printing technique for wedding invitations, greeting cards, and business cards for anyone hoping to make an impression (pun intended) on the recipient. Today’s cottage industry of letterpress printers has been built on the shoulders of 100 years of printing industry, starting around the late 1800s. It’s easy to forget that what we treasure today as an artisan product, made by a well-trained craftsperson, was once known simply as printing.
What began with hand-set wood and metal type (read more about this from Jen of Starshaped Press here) has become an industry centered around the photo polymer plate. Designing for letterpress today begins on a computer, and as such, new fonts, embellished ornaments, graphics, patterns, and complicated multi-color designs can be produced with relative ease. The printing part is still by hand, one at a time.