3 Misconceptions about the Letterpress Printing

Print Techniques

Misconception 1: Letterpress Printing is Debossing

a. Letterpress printing is an antiquated print technique used to disseminate information just as our current modern techniques have done so in the past
b. The print transfer between the inked up plate and paper was just meant to be a peck or a kiss on the paper and not meant to be a deep impression, resembling debossing or a depressed effect on the paper
c. In the past, doing that would have resulted in many damaged type plates
d. In the modern day, as photo polymer plates are being used for one time usage instead, printers are more willing to go deeper pressure wise to create an obvious indent into the paper
e. That “debossed” effect has also been propagated in beautiful photography images and even Martha Stewart is partly responsible for spreading this ideology
f. Hence, technically letterpress printing is not supposed to give off a debossed effect

Misconception 2: Letterpress Printing is Consistent

a. While the letterpress printing process has become more efficient and hassle free as compared to the past, it is still considered a “fussy” print technique
b. As such, attention is paid to various parts of the process such as plate making, inking, checking of prints etc.
c. Hence, consistency can be achieved but not to a absolute level and the consistency boils down to how much attention is paid to the print by the printer

Misconception 3: A blind press does not count

a. Letterpress printing’s pricing structure is dependent on the number of print runs
b. A print run would involve an additional print on the reverse side, so an additional print on the same side
c. Whether or not a colour is involved is not relevant, as a print run is a print run
d. Hence, a blind press is considered a press