business cards letterpress bodywork
business cards letterpress 4 pantones
business cards letterpress 2 pantones
business cards letterpress metallic ink

Letterpress printing (of the French term typographic printing) is a method of using custom-made printing plates produced according to the graphic layout. Clichés are plates engraved in relief with the visual elements of the layout, such as images, logos or text. Each plate is specially designed to transfer the ink onto the paper, faithfully reproducing the desired graphic elements. So, thanks to personalised printing plates, today’s letterpress printing maintains its tradition while offering great flexibility to meet the specific needs of each graphic project.

The Letterpress style was brought back into fashion for the general public in the early 2010s, when it became popular for the creation of announcement cards, correspondence cards and business cards. This printing method has a noble, authentic, exclusive and refined feel, and the finesse of its printing is recognised for its top-of-the-range quality… All our prints are based on the letterpress printing process, but depending on the project, the result is not necessarily in the letterpress style that is printed in the collective unconscious.

The retro letterpress style is first and foremost obtained with a vintage design (graphic model), so it’s up to you to use your creativity. Our team of graphic designers can also take care of the graphic creation. For a Letterpress result, you’ll need to select a maximum of one to three colours and a cotton paper weighing between 450 and 900 grams. Pure embossing (or blind debossing) is perfectly suited to the letterpress style. As you can see, it’s all about striking the right balance between creation and the free expression of the medium for an authentic result.

Letterpress or Typographic?

Letterpress printing was a printing method that used metal characters engraved in relief to transfer ink onto paper. The characters were arranged by hand to form the desired text or image. Once the characters were inked, pressure was applied to transfer the ink to the paper, creating a sharp, precise print.

Letterpress, on the other hand, was a specific form of letterpress printing. It also used metal characters engraved in relief, but with one key difference: the characters were pressed directly onto the paper, rather than simply transferring the ink. The pressure exerted by the press during printing created a distinctive relief effect, pressing lightly into the paper for a tactile, textured finish.

In short, letterpress printing was a general printing technique using raised engraved characters, where the ink was transferred to the paper. Letterpress was a specific form of letterpress printing in which the characters were pressed directly onto the paper, creating a raised impression. Letterpress offered a distinct tactile appearance and texture, whereas traditional letterpress printing focused primarily on ink transfer to create sharp, precise prints.

The method

  1. Plate preparation: a plate is made by engraving characters, images or motifs in relief. This cliché is then fixed to the press platen.
  2. Pantone colour preparation: before printing begins, the desired Pantone colour is prepared by mixing the base inks in specific proportions. This ink mixture is then applied to an inking roller on the press.
  3. Settings and inking: the press settings are adjusted to ensure accurate positioning of the Pantone colour plate. This action ensures that the ink is applied evenly and consistently.
  4. Paper feed: an automatic paper feed system is used to insert sheets of paper into the press. This system feeds the paper evenly and precisely, allowing a continuous flow of printing without manual intervention.
  5. Printing: once the paper has been fed, the press applies the inked Pantone colour plate to the substrate. The pressure exerted by the press transfers the ink from the plate to the paper.
  6. Paper ejection: once printing is complete, the printed paper is ejected from the press. It can then be collected for drying or passed on to other finishing stages, as required, for example for both sides of the substrate (recto verso) and for each colour.