Letterpress

The History

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  • Credit for moveable type and the development of letterpress printing is given to Johannes Gutenberg in approximately 1440.
  • Print Shoppe Club has letterpresses, affectionately named Sally, Bertha, and Scarlett dating back to the late 1800's which are still used today.

The Art

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  • Quality letterpress involves two critical items, impression and ink
  • When evaluating modern letterpress, you will see an impression where the plate or type has been pressed into the paper.
  • For fine letterpress, the inking and impression will match where the ink will sit in the bottom of the impressed letter or image, not over-inking where the image will look smeared, or under-inked where the letter or image will not be seen

Engraving

The History

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  • Commonly called engraved printing, intaglio printing originally began in Europe around the 1430's. The earliest of which is an undated design for playing cards.
  • Most are familiar with engraved printing through currency, passports, stock certificates and diplomas

The Art

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  • Engraved printing starts with an etched metallic die. Ink is placed on the die, then a "die wipe" is used to remove all excess ink except what is remaining in the etching.
  • The paper is then pressed against the die, pulling the remaining ink from the etching.
  • The test for true engraving is looking at the back of the paper. Since the paper is pressed against the die, you will always have a bruise on the back of the paper.

Foil Printing

The History

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  • Hot Stamping began as an arduous method of decorating book covers with gold leaf. It has since evolved to be available to the general public as atomized foil.
  • Foil Printing became popular in the late 1800's, with the first patent in 1892.

The Art

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  • Similar to letterpress, foil printing involves impacting the paper with a die, creating a cavity for foil to adhere.
  • Key elements for a quality foil impression include heat, foil quality and pressure. We place a piece of foil over a heated die, press the die against the paper and when heated correctly, the remaining foil will leave a perfect impression of your type or image.