Developed in the 14th century, letterpress printing involves setting type and motifs in reverse on a letterpress plate. The plate is then inked and pressed onto the surface of a paper. The pressing process transfers the ink and leaves a deep impression on the paper creating a three dimensional print that has a feel unlike any other type of printing.
The nature of the printing demands a high quality, and generally heavier weight, paper that will not tear or thin when pressed. Crane 100% cotton papers are ideal as they the fibers contained within it are soft and readily accept an impression as well as ink.
As you might expect, letterpress printing is both time- and labor-intensive. Prints are made one-at-a-time with each print having its own unique variations of ink coverage and depth of impression. That extra effort is reflected in both the final product and cost. For that reason, letterpress is typically reserved for short-run items such as wedding invitations, personal stationery, business cards, greeting cards, and specialty folders.
Wonderfully tactile and simply exquisite, letterpress printing has a rich, warm feel that one can't help but appreciate.