We are the proud owners of a Chandler & Price New Style 10×15 Letterpress. Her presence is humbling – weighing in at almost 1 ton or 1,800 pounds – it’s amazing that her 99-year-old frame can produce something so beautiful and delicate. Her legacy continues as we print beautiful invitations and stationery on her. We are proud to say our designs are truly hand crafted and that we are doing our part in keeping this age-old printing technique alive.
Of all the invitations sent and received, one of the most gorgeous and recognizable is a letterpress invitation. Running a finger over the deep impression and cotton paper, you can literally feel each part of the printed design. We use computer software to create your design. Then we turn that design into a “plate” – which is a raised design, much like a rubber stamp. The plate allows us to print all kinds of things without movable type.
Perhaps most surprising, is that the whole press is run by foot and no electricity. The entire printing process takes hours. Oil the press, adjust the press, hand mix the ink color, ink the press, test color on press, line up plates on paper. We hand mix the ink color. A quantity of 100 simple 2-color invitations, reply cards and envelope return addresses, can be about 700 runs through the press.
We double-check all the pieces to ensure they are equally beautiful before shipping out the package to the lucky couple.
LETTERPRESS IN MOTION
We create our own designs and see them come to life, hand fed sheet by sheet, one color at a time, on a press that’s been printing for nearly 100 years. The indentation left over by the plate being pushed by thousands of pounds of pressure into soft, cotton paper is simply gorgeous. No electricity is used to print, only a foot peddle keeps the motion of the heavy flywheel rotating, which opens and closes the press while printing.
- 1450’s — Johannes Gutenberg invented the first printing press with movable wooden type
- 1450’s to 1950’s — Printing remains greatly unchanged
- 1918 — Our very own Chandler and Price NS 10×15 Letterpress is “born”
- 1950s — Offset printing was invented, almost rendering letterpress obsolete for the next 40 years
- 1990s — Martha Stewart Weddings published an article that helped letterpress became popular again
- TODAY — Letterpress is considered one of the main forms of printing fine wedding stationery