letterpress 101…

intro to letterpress

Letterpress is an old-school relief-printing method that was introduced to Western culture in the 15th century, courtesy of good ole’ J. Gutenberg. I wasn’t around back then but I’ve read it made quite an impression on the print industry (my husband is going to be so proud of that pun). Over the last few years, letterpress printing has had a serious revival, and it is now, again, a highly sought-after print method sittin’ pretty at the top of the wedding stationery game. Brides and grooms alike have fallen in love with the art of letterpress and the dreamy impressions it leaves behind.

Three different types of printing presses exist: Platen, Cylinder, and Rotary. Although my first introduction to letterpress was on a Vandercook (Cylinder Press), I own and operate a 1915 Chandler & Price Platen Press, named Boo. Weighing in at over 1,000 pounds, Boo is a large, floor-standing printing press that was made for production. Using my hands and a foot treadle, each individual sheet of paper is fed through my antique press with great care, extreme precision, and lots of love. Due to the handcrafted nature of letterpress, very slight variations in alignment, ink application, and color can occur, making no two pieces entirely identical (but, I promise you won’t notice!). This handmade process is part of what makes your letterpress wedding stationery so incredibly unique and timeless. lovelybones paperie requires at least a 10% paper overage to account for these inking and alignment variations with each design.

Letterpress is a labor-intensive art form. The creativity, time-commitment, personalized approach, and meticulous technical process require both investment and appreciation of the handmade. If you’re interested in learning more about letterpress in general or printing with lovelybones - say hello!

lovelybones paperie values diversity and welcomes individuals and couples of all religions, sexual orientations, cultures, ethnicities, genders, ages, and life experiences.