Bambra Basics: Letterpress Printing

It wouldn’t surprise us if you have heard the name Gutenberg before, you know, because he invented the printing press. He’s a pretty big deal. Way back in 1440, Gutenberg created the industry in which we operate and the landscape for mass media to exist. Obviously, things have changed a great deal since then. However, the basic principle of relief printing is still a technology we use to this day. You probably know it as letterpress printing.

Letterpress printing works by creating an impression on paper through a raised, inked surface. This requires plates, which are typically made from polymer. Unlike offset where the plates are rolled onto a blanket, the letterpress plates directly hit the paper. This is what creates the tactile impression we all know and love.

The entire process must be closely monitored because even tiny shifts in ink flow or pressure can drastically affect the final product. Luckily, our operator is a letterpress whisperer and achieves remarkable results every time.

Though it is an old form of printing, letterpress is seeing a renaissance. Combining meaningful design, specialty stock and the tactile deboss always leaves a lasting impression on all who receive letterpress print. This is why people tend to gravitate towards letterpress for special or sentimental pieces.

Our letterpress is an old girl – an original Heidelberg that has been at Bambra for nearly 40 years. It’s our longest-held piece of technology and shows absolutely no signs of slowing. It’s quite a marvel, and there’s nothing quite like watching the press pass through sheet after sheet, one by one.

There are really no words to describe how special letterpress print can be, so we think it is better you come and feel it for yourself. Call or email the team to arrange a time to visit and learn more about the power of the letterpress.


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