Inside the Makers’ Studio

Print Techniques

Do you think that handmade products deserve a price premium?

Well, people have been voting with their wallets for a long time and they agree.

Luxury goods often sell on the virtue of artisan craftsmanship where numerous man hours have been put into every stitch, every joining, every piece of raw material.

Something handmade is also hand inspected vs. an output from a automated machine.

Any defects can be corrected a piece at a time rather than incurring large wastage upon discovery after the 100th piece.

These are points that I’ve learned from owning a letterpress printing studio for a few years.

It’s definitely a labourious process, with many variables that can contribute to an output disaster.

The many things that can go wrong also are the things that make a single output oh so special.

We’ve combined an old machine with new technology such as using polymer plates vs. the usual metal type and also learned how to ensure the paper and plates are aligned by using modern tools.

The process is one that is incredibly precise and sensitive. Loading on too much ink will result in smudgey letters and the seeping of ink to the reverse side. Not washing the plates out right, result in non-crisp or letters that are not expressed.

That’s where the human element steps in to ensure that these can be prevented.

While the process is much slower compared to modern print machines, the level of human control is higher.

Pressing Letters to Paper sounds easy but a great deal of attention to detail is what makes letterpress printing so prized and valued.