Impressed? I’m-Pressed Letterpress
On the 10th December ’17 my husband and I attended an amazing letterpress studio and workshop. It’s called Inkspot Press and it’s in our home county of Sussex. If you’re a creative or crafty type living in Sussex, I would highly recommend it.
My husband had previously done the ‘introduction to letterpress’ workshop at Inkspot Press before, so it was a great experience to do this old school crafting together. We were lucky enough to have the letterpress room to ourselves. It’s pretty quiet this time of year. In the run up to Christmas it was fitting that we made some Christmas cards!
Changing Colours Quickly
In order to change colours more quickly we inked our designs instead of the press itself. This meant that we could change colour and be more experimental with what we were printing. Not only could we change card colour but we could quickly clean the design and change ink colour too. We used a roller to ink our design that was set in the press bed. We then wound the crank to actually make the print.
Setting up The Design
In today’s world it’s all too easy to take things for granted, especially an old-school art form such as printing. This course really demonstrated the skill and knowledge it takes to set a design up for print. We used A3 size card to print our card designs on. This meant we got 2 cards to one sheet which was really efficient. The real skill is knowing where the design needs to be in the press bed. This will ensure that the design is in the right position. It should then be in the right place when printed on the card. Inevitably a few test print runs will be required. This will allow you to adjust your design accordingly. Once you’ve done a test you can then determine how much you need to adjust your design. You do this in the press bed using spacer blocks.
Inkspot have an amazing range of metal type across hundreds of different fonts. If your font knowledge is good, choosing shouldn’t be too tricky! Suddenly not being able to pick your fonts from an electronic list is a rather overwhelming though! With so many possibilities it’s hard not to be indecisive! You should also bare in mind is that, when setting your fonts, you’re also working back to front as well. Then you’ve got to consider your word spacing and line spacing too. This all has to be done by hand. Can you see what this one says below?
The Finished Articles
We both had a press each and my husband and I created something different which was nice. The graphic elements that you can see here were also produced at Inkspot. These are polymer plates which were created from vector files. They are then exposed to a polyer surface which creates a highly detailed printing plate. Just like the type, you ink these in the same way. The only difference being, as you may have guessed, is that you would need to print this first (or second). This will depend on whether you had your type already set.
We hope you enjoyed seeing how we created these cards. Hope you also learned a little bit about what letterpress is and how it’s done.
Thanks to all my readers and don’t forget to check back regularly for updates! Alternatively a subscribe to my mailing list would be much appreciated!