Why Letterpress Printing Is So Expensive

Monday, February 18, 2013

Palin Voldemort 2012 letterpress election card

Every detail in a wedding is something people tend to agonize over. Partly, it’s just human nature to want every detail to be perfect and, of course, many people are keeping an eye on the bottom line as well. Although invitations make up a small part of the overall cost of a wedding, many couples are a bit surprised when they learn how much professional, letterpress invitations can cost.

Professional, high-end letterpress invitations have become more popular since the 1990s, when people began to place a higher value in the overall quality of items as opposed to just the final price. Offset and digital printing may have made printing easier and more widely-accessible, but they simply cannot match the quality and craftsmanship of traditional, custom, letterpress printing.

What is Letterpress?

Letterpress is the act of relief printing and, until the later half of the 20th century, it was the leading way everything was printed – from books to invitations. Printing with letterpress means placing individual letters on a press and then pressing the paper against the type. When offset printing was introduced in the 20th century, it made the process quicker thanks to advanced technology. Later, digital printing took it to the next level and made printing accessible to everyone. This meant printing services were able to lower their prices and now it’s possible to get invitations fronted for mere pennies – so why bother with letterpress?

What You’re Paying For with Letterpress Printing

Letterpress printing is, quite simply, beautiful. Letterpress printing involves a vast array of equipment – from the individual letters and type blocks to the ink, press and paper stock. What’s more, it involves a level of skill and quite a bit of time both for the printing process itself, as well as the experience needed for someone to become a skilled printer.

Although the rise of digital and offset printing have become popular, traditional letterpress printing has seen a real revival in the United States, UK and Canada since the mid-1990s. Letterpress printing offers a level of quality not matched elsewhere and, perhaps most importantly, it allows for a great degree of control when it comes to fine typography.

Finally, there is the sheer impact of a letterpress invitation. The act of letterpress printing leaves a distinct impression on the paper itself. Often a thicker, creamier paper stock is used for letterpress invitations and, as a result, once printed, people can run their fingertips over the invitation and literally feel the impact of the press. It brings a new tactile dimension to invitations which goes a long way to making them a richer part of the celebration.

Choosing to use letterpress printing for your wedding invitations is a choice of quality and style over bottom line pricing. While it’s possible to make nice invitations using digital or offset printing, letterpress brings an added dimension to the invitations – literally. These hand crafted, unique and tactile invitations can truly set the tone for your entire wedding as the first impression your guests will get of your wedding and the entire celebration.

 

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Comment