Letterpress alive & well
Crafted with artistry, mastery, technique and love, Letterpress is an age-old art form that is produced exclusively for every individual client. Complete with imperfections this style of printing provides a three dimensional, tactile and plush finish that cannot be matched by using either a digital or offset process.
This hand applied look attracts various admirers from the more obvious design studio client through to the bespoke cottage industries and of course letterpress produces the most luxurious wedding stationery.
Think fine wine placed amongst a row of cheap casks, compare camembert cheese to a table full of nuts and crackers, that is what letterpress is in the world of modern print.
The choice of letterpress is often decided on for the deep impression effect referred to as debossed or debossing. The process does have its limitations with fonts, images and stock weights all playing a part when producing letterpress prints, the press controls what can be done with the design.
Fonts and line weights can often become distorted with too much impression, so the typeface chosen can make all the difference. Fonts with fine lines and thin components such as some script fonts or fonts with fine serifs can look uneven and less precise.
The stock weight combined with the font and image choices dictate the amount of impression that can be achieved. We suggest that you don’t put your line weights on a diet. There is such a thing as too thin when using the letterpress printing method.
At Dobson & McEwan, we produce our own photopolymer plates reducing our environmental footprint by not employing the chemical bath procedure that is needed for magnesium plate production.
Letterpress is as it always was a single pass process. Each individual colour requires the sheet to pass through the press a second, third or forth time. This means the second colour can cost almost the same as the first. Every project is different and there are many variables that can influence the cost of a letterpress print.
The colour palate is chosen from the Pantone Matching System mixing each colour to its specified recipe. When contemplating a letterpress production, think solid colours. The nature of letterpress is such that shadows or gradients are less achievable.
Keep large floods of flat colours to a minimum as this tends to print cloudy and mottled and fails to achieve a defined, debossed effect. However if looking for a suede-like effect, a flat coverage can add to a vintage style print, highlighting the hand-printed style of letterpress.
For luxurious tailored print communication try letterpress, a traditional craft that is alive again and being produced locally by Newcastle’s oldest commercial print shop, Dobson & McEwan Master Printers.