Tested Learns the Craft of Letterpress Printing

We visit the San Francisco Center for the Book to learn about letterpress printing and earn another maker merit badge. We’re shown how modern letterpress practice uses a combination of century-old machines and new technology, and put those lessons to use in designing and making our new Tested business cards!

Comments (15)

15 thoughts on “Tested Learns the Craft of Letterpress Printing

  1. Important to make the distinction that Gutenberg invented the printing press, not movable type. There was printing from individual wood and metal characters by Chinese printers long before Gutenberg, but they were all printing by hand. Gutenberg’s printing press industrialized the process. With the increase in speed, people could afford books, which meant they had a reason for learning to read. 🙂

  2. Very cool. It’s kind of comforting knowing things like this are maintained by people with a passion for it, leaves a focus on the craft that is lost with automation.

  3. This is seriously cool. Loving the quality and quantity of content from you guys lately. This also feeds into my love of good typography.

  4. Very interesting and entertaining. I do have to admit, when I heard all the steps it took using your vector imagery, I thought that it was incredibly tedious.

  5. Do you have any other version of this video in other website format like vimeo, dailymotion or any other popular website because there is some IP conflict that i could not get the youtube content.

    Regards

    Muqtada Khalid

    letterheads printing

  6. The card looks to be a two color job, shouldn’t be too expensive, depending on the number of cards they had made.

    In general, the costs of letterpress are much higher due to premium paper, setup costs and plates. Economy comes with scale, because once the plates and paper is bought and the job is set up, cranking out another 1000 cards is relatively quick.

    When I quote people for letterpress work, I tend to find that materials/setup/plates is 3/4 of the price of small jobs.

  7. I work in a digital printing company. excellent vid and it’s really informative. Bought a letterpress christmas card for a special someone. Made on a Heidelberg. Looks really different compared to digital prints.

  8. Very neat! My wife and I own a small newspaper where she does the commercial printing. Her parents printed their papers there for many years, running 3-4 linotypes simutaneously. We have a linotype there still, plus most of the machines shown in the video, although we are mostly digital now. If not for envelopes, we’d probably have no offset printing to do. It’s definitely an art more than anything, and a dying one at that. It’s nice to know that letterpress is still appreciated.

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