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A Guide to Letterpress Printing August 23, 2019

A Guide to Letterpress Printing, ,

Printed marketing materials, such as invitations, flyers, event announcements, or catalogs, are a chance to speak to your customers. The quality of the paper and style of the printing can make a project extra special. For those campaigns that you’d like to stand out, letterpress printing will add a handmade and beautiful touch.

Why Choose Letterpress Printing?

What Is Letterpress?letterpress printing

Letterpress printing was in use well before the advent of digital printing. Invented in the 1400s by Johannes Gutenberg, traditional letterpresses use wood or metal moveable type pieces that are placed by hand into a block. The type pieces are then inked. Paper is pressed onto the prepared plate to transfer the text onto the paper. The process evolved over the centuries to include a variation on text styles and image design and was a standard printmaking technique up until the late 20th century. Traditional letterpresses are no longer made, so the ones that are in use now are vintage.

How Does it Work?

Letterpress relies on a relief printing process, meaning that the raised surface of the letters is inked and then pressed into the paper. The result leaves an impression of the letters or images. Modern letterpress printing primarily uses photopolymer plates that utilizes digitally designed images or letters, as opposed to the traditional handmade movable type pieces. These plates fit into the traditional presses and are stronger than original wooden or metal type. For more than one color printing, plates must be made for each color used.

 What Are the Advantages of Letterpress Printing?

The impressed, textural effect of letterpress onto soft cotton paper is elegant, artistic, high quality, and eye-catching. Because of the craft, labor, and expense of this style of printing, it is less common and easily recognizable as special. Even something as simple as a business card becomes a work of art. After the setup,  letterpress costs less per piece the more pieces are printed. Plates can be saved for additional print runs provided the printing information remains the same. Choosing letterpress printing can elevate your brand, adds a sense of luxury to your promotional materials, and encourages customers to keep them.


Choose letterpress printing for your next marketing campaign or event for memorable, keepsake-quality materials. Bestype Imaging is a premier printing service in New York City/Manhattan. They print all sorts of projects, business cards to larger formats. Serving the retail, advertising, and art and fashion industries. Call (212) 966-6886 to discuss your project or visit the website for examples and services available.

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