About letterpress printing

What is letterpress printing?

Letterpress printing is a type of printing that uses raised plates or type to create prints. Letterpress printing is not as common these days but these presses are very well made, long lasting and finely engineered machines. For this project, we will be using our Heidelberg press and our Chandler & Price press. These presses are 60+ and 100+ years old respectively. They still work extremely well and are fun to use.

To see how our presses work, have a look at:

What kind of printing can be done with a letterpress machine?

Letterpress printing works well with line artwork, text and halftone images. It is not the same as digital printing because each colour has to be printed separately. As more colours are printed, it becomes more difficult to line up the colours perfectly (this is called registration). The colour of the paper stock that is used can also be a way to include more colour.

For this project, we are printing using photopolymer plates, which are plastic plates made from light sensitive resin.

For more on letterpress printing using photopolymer plates see these videos: