Whilst keeping up with modern trends in printing we pride ourselves in the fact that we can also produce traditional letterpress printing.
Letterpress is a method of printing that uses raised text or images, made from wood or metal, that are inked and then pressed leaving the artwork impression debossed into the card.
We can create bespoke design Wedding Stationery, Posters, Business Cards and so much more. All using an extensive range of metal and wooden type, some being over 120 years old.
Current metal plate techniques enable us to also offer that little bit extra. We can incorporate modern fonts and design aspects to give a classic and traditional feel with all the design details you want to incorporate into your artwork.
Our range of boards suitable for Letterpress is extensive from, 300gsm to 750gsm. Seen a card you especially like? Show it to us and we will be pleased to discuss the possibilities.
Letterpress is a centuries old method of printing that is very labour intensive and requires a high level of skill and experience, along with the right type of antique machinery. Ink is used with raised text and artwork which is pressed into the paper or card being used to leave an impression behind.
Wedding invitations that have been created on a Letterpress are timeless and elegant. The debossed nature of the print is impossible to achieve with modern printing techniques and will make your stationery stand put and announce your big day.
These days it is a very artisan skill and there are fewer printers using the method as time goes by. For large quantities of print and the size of print runs required for modern commercial usages the up to date digital and litho presses make complete sense. However, for short run high end print items Letterpress remains hard to beat when it comes to the wow factor. Printing with Letterpress techniques requires the right antique machinery and presses and these days it is most often used for prestigious Wedding, Personal or Business stationery. When the right artwork is selected, which is something we can help with, the results are simply stunning.
We are often asked and always enjoy explaining the process involved in Letterpress printing. We also run experience days for customers and those interested in the process, to visit and try using machinery dating back to the 1800’s. To truly get a feel for the time and effort that is required an experience day is ideal. In summary the following process steps are followed: Pre-press checks of artwork, creating of metal printing plates or setting of metal or wooden text, press set up, ink mixing, paper preparation, print run, machine wash up, final preparation of the finished print job.
From all over the country we are often asked if we can Letterpress save the dates ahead of the main wedding stationery preparation. We are always pleased to do this and offer advice around the design that will be helpful to the client and the printer for the later follow-on parts to be printed by Letterpress, Hot Foiling or other print methods.
Letterpress uses ink and the artwork is pressed into the card. Embossing is when the image is pushed up into the fibres of the card from behind and is a different process. We normally emboss with hot foil or alternatively blind (without any foil to create a raised image in the same colour as the card). We also deboss blind, which is when the artwork is pushed down into the card without ink or hot foil.
The key difference between Letterpress and Hot Foiling that we create is that Letterpress uses wood or metal text/plates with ink and Hot Foiling uses a metal block with heat and pressure to press foil into the card from a carrier sheet.
We gold foil from our customers design files or we can offer a full graphic design service from the information you have. Even if you are at the concept stage we can work with you to bring your ideas to life and take the time to proof designs back and forth until you are completely happy with them. We do not use stock sets so all of our stationery sets are gold foil bespoke designs from either the customer artwork or a collaboration with our designers.
Yes, we are happy to send free samples of our previous jobs. We believe the quality of our work and the Letterpress technique speaks for itself, especially when combined with the quality of card stock that we use from the likes of G F Smith.
Wedding Invitations are very popular, yet there are numerous other parts of the wedding stationery set it can be an excellent choice for. These include the list below, although you are only limited only by your ideas:
We dispatch all of our work via tracked and signed for courier, so wherever you are in the UK it is as if we are Letterpress printing near you, even though we are in in the East of England in beautiful Norfolk. If you live further afield we are happy to discuss dispatch to other countries, please contact us to discuss you requirements and we will be able to help. If you are visiting Norwich, you are welcome to visit by appointment and see our machines in action.
We Letterpress from our customers design files or we can offer a full graphic design service from the information you have. Even if you are at the concept stage we can work with you to bring your ideas to life and take the time to proof designs back and forth until you are completely happy with them. We do not use stock sets so all of our stationery sets are bespoke designs from either the customer artwork or a collaboration with our graphic designers.
We can mix inks to most pantone colours for Letterpress however the nature of Letterpress machinery means only one colour can be put down at a time. This means it works best when the Letterpress part of the design is kept to one or two colours. More are possible but each colour requires a machine set up, so the costs increase in line with this. For samples of our work click here.
There are no rules for this, every wedding is different. It can be nice to have a theme of colours running through the stationery that links in with the venue colours, the table settings or those of the bride & grooms outfits. However it is often nice to have the invitations be a stand-alone item that incorporate colours and design that are significant to the couple. It can tell a story of their relationship and add in Letterpress printing for an extra special touch.
As with all things in life that are made by hand and with a lot of time and skill invested, there is a difference in cost from a mass produced article. Letterpress is no different so naturally there are cheap alternatives available for wedding stationery if it is digitally printed. However, it all depends on the budget you are working with and the level of luxury you would like to incorporate into your designs. We cater for all types of stationery from digital through to Letterpress and Hot Foiling, so we are always happy to help and discuss your project and the various options.
Of course, we would say yes! However, we are confident that when you receive our samples and compare them to other types of stationery you will agree. Please contact us for samples or to discuss any questions you may have regarding your print project.
Due to the complex nature of the processes involved Letterpress print is not a ‘next day’ type of project. That said we always work to progress through the stages of pre press artwork discussions to delivery of the project in as timely a way as possible. As a rule of thumb allow 7-10 working days from agreement of all artwork and payment.
The two types of ink used for Letterpress are oil based or rubber based. The key difference is drying time, with rubber taking a lot longer to do so. Closely followed by the transparency of rubber inks, allowing one colour to be placed over a second to achieve a third where they cross over. The card stock being used is also a factor that determines which ink type is used.
Letterpress printing is also sometimes referred to as Relief Printing or Typographic Printing.
In the high speed chaotic world of modern next day print it is now the case that Letterpress is not the print tool of choice and fell out of favour in the middle of the last century for day to day printing. It remains a much loved method though and when time is less of a pressure and quality is paramount, it remains extremely popular. It is therefore perfect for Wedding Invitations and other Stationery. It is also kept alive by enthusiasts worldwide who fall in love with the type, fonts, inks and machines involved.
Whilst there are hobby versions of Letterpress, if it is for a special occasion such as a wedding, we would strongly advise seeking the services of a professional printer who has invested significantly in the kit, machinery and decades of skill required to produce perfect Letterpress printing.
Along with our Letterpress Wedding Stationery work we regularly use letterpress printing on other items, including:
Letterpress Business Cards
Letterpress Compliment Slips
Letterpress Greetings Cards
Letterpress Party Invites
Letterpress Bar Mitzvah invitations
Letterpress Christening Invites
Letterpress Anniversary invitations
Letterpress Funeral order of service
Letterpress Graduation Certificates
For main invitations we suggest anything from 300gsm up to 750gsm, depending on the style and design involved. Our most popular weights for letterpress are 350gsm and 540gsm. Other items of the stationery set can be set at lower weights to compliment the main invite or on the same weight, the choice is yours. We source our stocks from all of the main paper & card merchants and for weddings those from https://www.gfsmith.com/our-papers or https://paper.fedrigoni.com/gbr/papers/ are very popular. If you have a particular stock or budget in made we will nearly always be able to source this from our supplier base.
Letterpress printing is suitable for use on a wide variety of substrates, including the list below. If you have a specific item that you would like to Letterpress, please contact us so we can discuss and help you:
Letterpress printing dates back to the 1400’s and the invention of the Gutenberg press. At first it was all wooden type that was used which was hand carved, then over the century’s things moved forward with the creation of metal type that improved things immensely. For a very long time nearly all print was being produced using a variation of the letterpress technique. Then in the middle of the last century there was a major shift away and into the modern litho printing and digital printing techniques that dominate the high volume commercial print sector. Letterpress knowledge and antique machinery remains though and there has been a resurgence in the process in the last couple of decades. Its popularity in sectors such as high end premium wedding stationery is hard to match and ensures we keep on passing the skills and knowledge onto future generations.
If you’d like to get in touch and enquire about our letterpress printing & design services just fill in the form and we’ll get back to you asap.
Do you know what you want, how many you need and you’re looking for a quote?
Whether you are at the concept stage or ready to print then why not get in touch with us today for a consultation via email, phone, zoom or visit.