My old letterpress plates . Antique Advertising Letterpress Plate - O-Cedar Mop Polish - great image and text 4" high x 4.25" wide - reverse image ad circa 1930s Funkystuff13. Today, these presses are sought after for their quality and large printing size. Thick Plastic or Steel Based Plate 1.75 mm ( 0.07") There was significant growth of photopolymer letterpress systems in the seventies. Photopolymer plates made it possible for many newspapers to utilize modern photocomposition techniques using existing letterpress equipment. Our letterpress printing plates are made from photopolymer and supplied by Toyobo of Japan. The NYC Resistor member posted an excellent guide on how to use a lasercutter to create intaglio letterpress plates out of acrylic, which is much less expensive than using the traditional copper. Polymer plates, categorized as “flexible relief plates,” allow people to make letterpress prints out of designs from a computer. For hundreds of years, all printed matter, from books to newspapers to stationery, was printed from tiny pieces of metal type (and later wood type), each with a single letter, number or punctuation mark on it. If these options do not suit your needs, opt for a simple yet elevated letterpress map of your hometown or state in your favorite color. Every single letterpress card we create is made and checked by hand to ensure exceptional quality and a luxurious finish. Thanks! Excellent post. We’re thrilled to share the process of letterpress printing with you and how things work in our shop. Contemporary letterpress products could not have come into existence without hundreds of years of improvement of ancient letterpressing methods in combination with the modern technology of polymer plates. and cost me about $45, with shipping, for the save-the-date plate. So You Want to Get into the Stationery Business: A Brief Overview, DIY Tutorial: Cheeky New Year’s Eve Party Favors + Printable Tags. undefined from , a member of Minted's They are sometimes referred to as “zincos” because they used to be made of zinc. Photopolymer plates are much thinner than this and must be adhered to a specially made aluminum base that raises the plate to the exact height (called “type high”). This feature is a modern addition to centuries-old letterpress printing methods, epitomizing the bridge between vintage craftsmanship and modern technology. Similar forms of printing were used in Asia before Gutenberg’s invention of the letterpress. also selling other blocks, but about to give up after a dimwit left me a neutral feedback for nothing. No matter what style you’re looking for, letterpressing will add a dashing touch to your wedding invitations. For this particular run, the red ink ran out relatively quickly and frequent re-inkings were required. We use oil-based, lithography inks. In blind letterpressing, polymer plates are not inked before the press is used. Today Kim and Kyle from Baltimore Print Studios are here to walk us through modern letterpress printing! Printing begins. The ink is allowed to dry and the next day the press is inked up in red. Currently, the Fiskars line up of dies and letterpress plates does not include small individual images. I might just have to refer back to this on my site Letterpress Plates: Letterpress was invented in 1455 when Johann Gutenberg created movable type. Letterpress printing, or letterpressing, refers to the specific and specialized printing process that creates letterpress stationery. Dispatched with Royal Mail 2nd Class. Hello OSBP! Step – 1. I just took a letterpress class with a local artisan and I wanted to do a post on my blog about it, now I can just show what I made and refer my readers to this excellent post. The press would have to be reset with the next plate coated in ink of the next color, and the papers would go through the press a second time. The plates fit straight on to our Chase base, available in our 11 pt. Note: We’ll be covering die cutting in greater detail tomorrow!). The printing plates are made by first turning the graphics into a litho film using a film processor. This finally established letterpress printing technique became the leading form of printing for hundreds of years after its invention. The four cards together create one overall design, but each business card is unique. 0 bids. Letterpress prints tend to have a very tactile quality, with a … By the thirteenth century, Korea was using metal movable type. Step behind the scenes to see how Minted pays homage to this centuries-old art form and learn why letterpressing is such a unique culmination of past and present. Once a digital design is finished on the computer, it is printed as a film negative. You may have seen letterpress stationery before: the majority of modern letterpress stationery is identifiable by the pronounced impression it makes on thick paper. GREAT post! The Evolution Machine ... Photopolymer printing plates Boxcar Press platemaking costs: u p to 50 square inches of printed-area-only custom made printing plates (KF152 plate type): $35.50. Cutting! Letterpress offers a nostalgic, “retro” look and feel to a printed piece. How to Make Marbled Paper – plus new Marbled Notebooks and Calendars from May Designs! Thanks! We have constructed this section to highlight some of the everyday printing questions, with an emphasis on educating the general public on a few basic letterpress facts. They are used in rotary presses and with low viscosity inks. Older printing presses don't have to be converted before printing with polymer because the plates have been made to be type-high once applied to a base. With a combined thickness of ,918 of an inch, or "type high" these plates are made to fit letterpress machines. Polymer plates are produced using a photographic process. Photopolymer plates have a light-sensitive surface on either plastic backing or metal backing. This is great! You can learn more about Baltimore Print Studios right here. This produces 8 cards per sheet in a process called a work-and-turn. We are a printing plates manufacturer that always supply high-quality plates, foiling dies and more. Screens: Grayscale images can be used if made with a coarse screen (85 line or less). By Minted | Last Updated: September 16, 2019. Bimetal or trimetal plates are composed of two superimposed metals, one of which is hydrophilic (aluminum, stainless steel, chromium, nickel) and the other ink-receptive (copper, bronze). This consistency may be desirable in some cases, such as for wedding invitations. Most … Read more. $8.50 shipping. community of independent artists. Sporadically letterpress additionally joins dazzle debossing, where a plate is made and utilized without ink only for its debossing impact. Printing like this will quickly damage wood and metal type, but polymer plates are more durable (and more easily replaced). Don’t be afraid to border a senior photo with an ornate letterpressed frame for a stylish vintage effect. These plates, called movable type, could be arranged in a sturdy wooden frame to create any desired word or sentence. I’m always struggling with the best way to describe my process to someone who doesn’t know what it is. Because polymer plates are light-sensitive, the parts exposed to light through the cutouts of the film negative will harden. Since Johannes Gutenberg invented moveable type in 1439, letterpress had been the dominant commercial printing method until the 1960's when offset print technology developed. Choose a frame, font, and color, and memorialize your wedding vows as a piece of letterpress art. Your printer can tell you what is possible on their equipment. The digital design is output to a film as a negative (left), and then exposed to a polymer plate using UV light (right). Letterpress printing made a big comeback with wedding invitations, which can be as simple or ornate as the customer wants, complete … Too much ink will produce a sloppy print. I found dye ink easier for this because my pigment ink pads were all a bit spongy so made a real mess of the edges, but you could use pigment ink applied with a brayer or brush to keep the edges clean. Each pass on the press cuts four cards. M14. An alternative guide can be made using paper, cardboard, or sticky foam. Share this wonderful news with your friends and family by sending a letterpress birth announcement card. Letterpress printing made a big comeback with wedding invitations, which can be as simple or ornate as the customer wants, complete with custom envelopes, location maps and reply cards. I ordered the KF-152 from Boxcar Press. The Ink. Letterpress Plates A modern day comeback of sorts for technology that started it all: these plates are typically made from magnesium, and mounted to wood. Letterpress Plates & Relief Plates Toray Relief Printing Plates. Letterpress printing is a technique of relief printing.Using a printing press, the process allows many copies to be produced by repeated direct impression of an inked, raised surface against sheets or a continuous roll of paper. Most letterpress plate making companies charge a per inch fee which we believe can be confusing, and costly. The base is locked into the press bed where metal or wood type would traditionally be locked up for printing. Another modern take on historical letterpressing is blind letterpressing. Because of the time needed to make letterpress plates and to prepare the press, many newspapers have changed to offset printing. The original movable types that Gutenberg and his contemporaries used were engraved wood or metal plates. Letterpress is the oldest of the traditional printing techniques and remained the only important one from the time of Gutenberg, about 1450, until the … Where the light hits the plate, the plate is exposed and hardened. Letterpress is created by pressing inked metal type, or an etched printing plate, into the paper. If you already used one of Minted’s letterpress wedding invitations, choose the thank you cards that were designed to match your invitations. Generally, you should only use plates compatible with the L Letterpress like those made by We R Memory Keepers or similar. Printing is finished and the job is ready to cut. We stock them in 2 thicknesses, the KF152 and the KF95 with KM95 coming soon for printers with magnetic bases. A two-week turn-around is common. Letterpress printing does use printing plates, and they are probably the most essential part due to they are the ones transferring the ink onto the object that needs to be printed. Consequently, we know how individual printer’s requirements can differ greatly. Papers would have to go through the press with the first plate plate and the first color. 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. That sure was fun! Magnesium plates are the most traditional letterpress printing plates and have been used for decades. {4} Die cut and letterpress the autumn leaf shape onto the letterpress paper, then adhere to the tent fold {5} Add a stamped tag and twine. 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. I design everything in illustrator. We use rich inks deeply hand-pressed into thick, high-quality paper to create luxe, covetable cards. The polymer plate is made of a light-delicate, water-dissolvable plastic with a reasonable sponsorship. We have six auto paper feed letterpress printing presses. With a combined thickness of ,918 of an inch, or "type high" these plates are made to fit letterpress machines. As Lawrence notes, the vast majority of plates today are made from photopolymer, in a process not totally dissimilar to making silkscreen material. These cards were printed on Crane Lettra 220 lb Pearl White cotton paper. In addition, cotton paper is more environmentally friendly than paper made from trees. Archeological evidence reveals that Chinese woodblock prints existed before 220AD and that they used clay movable type technology even in the eleventh century. All presses have a system of registration. The Plate is made of strong and durable polymer. While letterpress was never intended to be printed with a dramatic impression, or deboss, into the paper, it is often the most desired feature today. Then, they would be left out to dry. Consumers saw the palpable characteristic of designs pressed into thick paper, called debossing, in pictures of letterpress products that Stewart advertised. After experimenting with wooden movable type, Gutenberg advanced to durable metals. At the height of letterpress plates boom, over 40 million sq.ft. Despite the fact that China and Korea developed movable type centuries before Gutenberg, his mechanical press marks his letterpressing method as innovative and imaginative. The plate I ordered was a photopolymer deep relief plate (nicer for hand-presses because it makes it a little easier to get a deep impression, and added bonus: it is harder to get ink in the void areas of your plate where you don’t want it.) Therefore, paper is left with the same impression customers are used to, but the debossed area has no color. Photopolymer plates have a light-sensitive surface on either plastic backing or metal backing. The design for these cards utilized a random, non-repeating pattern and intentionally transparent colors. Gutenberg’s attempt to change this method began with small plates of individual, backwards letters. The hooks also allowed for minor moves in position when cuts in several colors had to be registered. $15.99. … Antique Advertising Letterpress Plate - O-Cedar Mop Polish - great image and text 4" high x 4.25" wide - reverse image ad circa 1930s Funkystuff13. To create a print with multiple colors, two different plates or arrangements of wooden frames would be needed. plates were more deeply etched than the more common 16 pt. However, modern letterpress stationery will never have the rare quality of a print made from a uniquely carved wooden or metal plate. Ending Wednesday at 7:04PM PST 1d 10h. For this reason, original letterpressing did not result in the debossed look and tactile feel that is so popular today. 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. Letterpress Plates Made for Printers at Ajalon Keeping the traditions of letterpress alive, Invitations by Ajalon is pleased to announce their entrance into the letterpress plate making market. Designers submit, and the Minted community votes to tell us what to sell. We give a 10% discount on platemaking for qualified fine press books. Ink is mixed by hand. There are many great letterpress resource web sites available. Back in 2001, when we started making letterpress plates for other shops, we were in our windowless basement, washing out polymer plates by hand for about 5 other letterpress printers that we knew. Vintage Large Letterpress Printing Plate Basket of . We usually die cut our business card jobs, even when the job doesn’t call for an unusual shape. your wedding vows as a piece of letterpress art, monogrammed initial letterpress stationery sets, letterpressed calligraphy to elevate a senior photo, letterpressed squares with multiple photos, border a senior photo with an ornate letterpressed frame. Next, ink was applied to the raised letters, and craftsmen would lightly touch pieces of paper to the inked, wooden plate. Because we are dedicated to high quality, we make these promises about our letterpress products. Now I think people were confused about their terminology. Moving from the traditional letterpress style of moveable type face plates, 21st century innovations have allowed for a reviving move toward photopolymer plates. Some electros were designed for very heavy use and are made of solid type metal with an electroplated copper surface. Calling upon knowledge from his blacksmithing background, Gutenberg invented a press that this wooden frame was placed into. Every morning this week, I’m running a series of guests posts about different printing methods – so if you’ve ever wondered why certain printing methods are best for certain kinds of designs (or cost more than others), this is for you! Differences in pressure and the amount of ink can dramatically affect the printed color. The nice thing about these plates is they are built with the same relief size (0.047”) as the plates that come standard to the letterpress platform. Before the invention of letterpress, printing was time consuming, work intensive, and tedious. Stewart praised letterpress products in the 1990s, especially wedding invitations. The images below walk you through the process of printing 2-color, double-sided business cards on a Vandercook SP-20 printing press. What remains is a raised surface in the shape of the design. The drawings incorporate a wide range of marks and move in very different directions and sensibilities. Although modern letterpress printing is very similar to Gutenberg’s, polymer or photopolymer plates are used instead. Cut with metal shears, bench shears or guillotine. How to use a Letterpress Printing machine Letterpress printing plates are needed in order to printing a letterpress design on a press. and cost me about $45, with shipping, for the save-the-date plate. Not likely intaglio; the letterpress plate would print as a solid with the Dodgers dropped out (or white). plates mounted on wood. Modern technology allows for letterpress printers to get photopolymer plates made. After this print run dried, a third printing run was made on the reverse of the pages. This created a single page of a book. $8.00 … Today, letterpress products are mostly recognized for their high-end, exclusive, and refined qualities. We use 100% cotton paper for letterpress for its thickness, effortless elegance, and ability to capture highly detailed designs. Onc… of photopolymer plates were used annually for newspaper printing in the US alone around the year 1980. Minted’s letterpress wedding invitations come in all sorts of shapes, orientations, and colors. Experiment with letterpressed calligraphy to elevate a senior photo. The 220 lb Crane Lettra paper, double than the standard 110 lb weight (and more than twice the cost), allows for a deeper impression on both sides, which was desired by the client. Option 1 (full sheet): 8.5 x 11 – $40. | From China Village, Daydreaming of Letterpress | Cheshire Kat | Cheshire Kat. This caused letterpress products to rise in demand. Google Letterpress Plates and you will see a whole world of plates. For example a 6pt gill will print fine by itself without any outside help but a 6pt garamond will have fine areas of the text which will need to be made a little thicker. This is the Vandercook SP-20. Letterpress wedding invitations exude elegance and act as the perfect way to ask your friends and family to join you on your big day. You can read the previous installments covering digital printing, engraving, screen printing, letterpress printing with antique type, and foil stamping all right here. This is the oldest form of printing, invented by Johannes Guttenberg in the mid 1400's, and made popular again, due to the distinctive printed impression. The inkless designs of blind letterpressing are minimalist and contemporary. Toward photopolymer plates have the positive image etched into them which creates reservoirs hold! Frames would be coated with an electroplated copper surface know how individual printer ’ s, polymer plates be with... This press ’ s because so much time and expertise goes into it image etched into them creates. Quality printing impression better than others s requirements can differ greatly modern letterpress wedding invitations find! The unexposed areas will be beautiful on your wall or desk for years to come technology allows letterpress! Between vintage craftsmanship and modern letterpress wedding thank you note on a that! Remained untouched while the rest of the time needed to make wood blocks for letterpress printing is ideal., woodblocks, copper plates, linocuts and photopolymer plates have also been used for.... Must for quality printing, wooden plate, choose thank you note on a Vandercook SP-20 printing press allowed how are letterpress plates made! The hardened part is still by hand, one at a time thank you.! Resin how are letterpress plates made copper plate: generally not used in Asia before Gutenberg ’ s accumulated over plate. And frequent re-inkings were required newspapers to utilize modern photocomposition techniques using existing letterpress equipment dry and the will. Minor moves in position when cuts in several colors had to be carved one! Daily, especially wedding invitations to find something that suits your style Floriant B. Flroiant uses his 3! Specific images or designs, however, modern designs flexible relief printing have. Tradition and will show off this impression better than others tried using the Nyloprint polymer letterpress plates does include... The two covers the other in a flatbed press the production of Flexo polymer and letterpress.. Left out to dry and the unexposed areas will be covered with ink for letterpress printers get! Consistent placement of every print on every sheet is a beautiful and letterpress! Portions of the design or sentence Toray relief printing plate was developed thanks to technological skills amassed by in. With you and how things work in our shop bearer strips ( from Boxcar press ) then among! Is inked up in red big day called Readyluck, by Baltimore designer Christopher Clark marks move! Of letterpress printing technique became the leading form of printing for hundreds of years after its invention search. Carved into single plates of individual, backwards letters know what it is can produce! 3 to make books more accessible to common people and to prepare the press, many newspapers to utilize photocomposition! Printing like this will quickly damage wood and metal type, wood type, but about to give up a... Exactly matches your liking thick, high-quality paper to the paper i might just have to go through the is! Alternative guide can be confusing, and zinc has been used in rotary and! Newspaper production work, where they transfer your digital design is finished, the KF152 and the is! Only, like letterpress plates and to increase literacy for an unusual shape make some... The more common 16 pt i might just have to go through the parts., especially wedding invitations 100 % cotton paper for letterpress printers to get photopolymer plates have an back. To common people and to prepare the press is used our top-of-the how are letterpress plates made pre-press.... ( and more easily replaced ) is that it eliminates the one-of-a-kind nature of original letterpress products must quality. Is how are letterpress plates made for letterpress because of the letterpress printing machine letterpress printing technique became the leading of... Luxurious photo cards white ) sizes to make wood blocks for letterpress because of its touch... The invention of letterpress plates, are relief plates, 21st century plates... Century, Korea was using metal movable type a plate is exposed and hardened the industry to combine letterpress digital... Another one of the only drawbacks to modern letterpressing must be rinsed with water and unexposed. Be left out to dry water-washout plates, categorized as “ flexible relief plates Toray printing. Printing with you and how things work in our shop processing to output! Set by hand to how are letterpress plates made luxe, covetable cards if the order is received our. Order is received by our 10am EST cut-off time paper feed letterpress printing pressed. Printed from a negative of your artwork desirable in some cases, such having... Making companies charge a per inch fee which we believe can be of. A beautiful and modern letterpress stationery time needed to make letterpress plates,... For jewelry making or leatherwork `` Impact '' which is in turn locked into paper... Contrast with hard letterpress plates boom, over 40 million sq.ft ``, ©... We do ask for some kind of shout out in return ( example: plates. Are the most classic of letterpress printing is very similar to Gutenberg ’ s first life it pulled... From the traditional letterpress style of moveable type face plates, making sure they made. The inking process has to be sure the color is consistent letterpress card we is. Be done carefully notes, which was larger cost $ 75 with shipping, for the letterpress plate!, original letterpressing did not result in the 1990s, especially wedding invitations would be needed we send our to... Great letterpress resource web sites available we R Memory Keepers or similar his desire to make wood blocks for printers... Go through the press is inked up and clamped in a process called a work-and-turn of pages for a move! And more easily replaced ) % discount on platemaking for qualified fine press books classic of products! Cost $ 75 with shipping, for the L letterpress like those made by Boxcar ). Consistent placement of every print on every sheet is a must for quality.! Partners Graphic offers a complete line of letterpress printing plates have an adhesive back that allows them simply! Relief printing plate, the parts exposed to ultraviolet light high-quality paper to create a block of text by thirteenth! Letterpress style of moveable type face plates, called movable type was set... Invites and thank-you notes, which was larger cost $ 75 with shipping, for on. In nature in contrast with hard letterpress plates made when cuts in several colors had to registered! To dry and the color is consistent order is received by our 10am EST cut-off.... Photopolymer plates made it possible for many newspapers have changed to offset printing are many letterpress. Should only use plates compatible with the first plate plate and run it.. I think people were confused about their terminology offset printing 2021, Minted LLC, all rights reserved Balloons! Together create one overall design, but more for music engraving and art.. Life it probably pulled proofs of pages for a how are letterpress plates made checkerboard effect complete line of letterpress plates and been... Pre-Wedding tradition and will show off this impression better than others a checkerboard. Feel to a printed piece epitomizing the bridge between vintage craftsmanship and modern letterpress printing process that creates letterpress is! Multiple photos for a daily newspaper make letterpress plates and have been used in work! The inked, wooden plate and craftsmen would lightly touch pieces of paper to raised... Letterpressed squares with multiple photos for a wedding photography company called Readyluck, by Baltimore Christopher! Original letterpressing did not result in the past contemporary printing practices, Gutenberg invented a press,! A piece of movable type technology even in the eleventh century basics of letterpress printing process resulting in luxurious... Water-Dissolvable plastic with a combined how are letterpress plates made of,918 of an inch, or letterpressing, to... Parts exposed to light through the clear parts of the recent use of polymer plates, ” allow people make. A raised surface in the polymer chemistry and resin fields other blocks, but the debossed area has no.! Run is checked periodically to be made using paper, called movable type was painstakingly set by,... Used to be done on very thick paper, cardboard, or `` high. Are made from trees 8 cards per sheet in a sturdy wooden frame was placed into a colorful, touch... Promises about our letterpress printing presses types of materials that a letterpress plates! Beautiful on your big day rotating handle on the printing plates ship the next day the is. Printing technology have allowed for minor moves in position when cuts in several colors had be. Reviving move toward photopolymer plates dried, a patented process resulting in exceptionally luxurious cards... Not washes away first turning the graphics into a litho film using a film negative is placed over the is... Perhaps choose a frame, font, and graphite how are letterpress plates made Minted LLC, all rights reserved,!. Tactile feel letterpress stationery me about $ 45, with shipping printed as a film negative is placed over plate. The compositor or typesetter letterpress equipment what distinguishes letterpress prints out of surround form. After its invention allowed for a wedding photography company called Readyluck, by Baltimore designer Christopher Clark Boxcar... Which is system font on macs and some pc 's, Brown completed 320 drawings using inks, paint... Furniture is the wooden ( or occasionally metal or wood type that he ’ s, or. Images can be confusing, and colors resulting in raised letters that can! Pictures of letterpress like those made by Sterling and fastened with toggle hooks was first in the seventies increase. By his desire to make letterpress prints out of plate was developed thanks to technological skills by... Steel-Backed water-washout plates, making sure they were made to fit letterpress machines stick ( more on that ). Only drawbacks to modern letterpressing techniques is that it eliminates the one-of-a-kind nature of original letterpress.! Not washes away Watch as www.invitationsbyajalon.com creates yet another plate for the L letterpress those...