Letterpress is one of the oldest forms of printing. It began in Europe in the 14th century as an alternative to laborious calligraphy. Type was hand cast and individual characters were hand set into lines until machine set composition made the process easier. Although it was replaced by offset printing in the 20th century, many designers are returning to the craft of letterpress — printing from individual metal types and custom engraved plates — as a unique option to offset printing.
The uniqueness of letterpress comes from its tactile quality. Letterpress leaves a subtle, yet distinct, indentation within a paper’s surface not found in any other printing method. Letterpress printed material feels luxurious and elegant, qualities that are congruent with Baby Cachet’s sense of style. Because depth and dimension are desired, letterpress is done on softer, thicker paper which usually means that the paper is handmade – hence, Baby Cachet’s emphasis on handmade paper.
The renewed popularity of letterpress in recent years has been widely attributed to Martha Stewart after she included an article on letterpress in her magazine and has been consistent in featuring upscale, letterpressed wedding invitations.
More info on letterpress on be found @ fiveroses.org.
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