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The artisan craft of
LETTERPRESS WEDDING STATIONERY

Step into the enchanting world of letterpress, where time-honoured craftsmanship meets contemporary design. This old-world printing technique, revered for its tactile allure and sophisticated elegance, is -together with hot foil- at the heart of my bespoke wedding stationery.

It is the beautiful marriage of ink and paper that narrates your one-of-a-kind love tale, one impression at a time.

Discover the letterpress process

Letterpress is actually very similar to the hot foiling process but we swap the glimmer of foil for the richness of ink. Gone are the days of cumbersome wood blocks and intricate metal type; instead, we embark on a process where a raised, negative image of your approved design is crafted onto a polymer plate. This plate finds its place on a base and securely fastened on the press. Much like the meticulous setup for hot foil, achieving perfect alignment demands time and patience. Yet, every moment invested translates into the beauty of your exquisite bespoke wedding stationery.

 

The dance of colours begins with hand-mixing your custom ink in the studio, where any shade your heart desires can be brought to life. With the press inked and ready, it's time to put the clam shell mechanism into motion using the foot treadle. This elegant movement brings the paper in contact with the inked plate, pressing with grace to create a beautiful deep impression of your design on the paper.

 

Letterpress, a cherished endeavour of dedication and care, unfolds its magic as each card is artfully printed one by one. The outcome is a sensorial delight, inviting you to trace the deep lines of the design with your fingertips, savouring the tactile elegance.

Green and pink ink to be mixed with palette knives for letterpress printing

A very brief history of letterpress

Letterpress, also known as relief printing, is the oldest among traditional printing techniques. Initially cumbersome, with carved woodblock pages, letterpress found its transformation in 1440 when Johann Gutenberg introduced moveable type and the printing press, marking a revolutionary era in mass production and shaping the modern world of printing.

 

Despite a decline in popularity with the advancement of printing technology and the rise of desktop publishing in the 1980s, letterpress is experiencing a quiet revival. With skilled artisans pushing the boundaries of this craft, the artistry of letterpress is kept alive and people are rediscovering its allure, appreciating its beautiful tactile, exquisite quality and personal feel.

Antique letterpress for luxury wedding stationery printing in Smitten with Ink studio

Letterpress - the newest inky side to Smitten with Ink

My love for texture and for antique pieces of machinery was ignited through working with my hot foil press. The desire to delve deeper into the world of letterpress led me to learn about the craft and look into various machines with the hope of finding the ideal one for my studio.

 

In 2022, I welcomed a Cropperette—an antique platen press operated by a foot treadle, dating back to 1885-1905. Determining her exact age and finding a manual pose intriguing challenges, given the limited documentation. Yet, the journey is marked by curiosity and – you guessed it - trial and error.

 

Following in the footsteps of Betty, my hot foil press, this new letterpress, deserved her own name—after all, she's become a cherished part of the studio family. Naming her became even more meaningful as she arrived during the week I bid farewell to my grandmother, Madeleine. The nickname Maddie was then an obvious choice.

Are you enchanted by textured letterpress and want it for your wedding stationery?

Letterpress wedding stationery crafted with intention

Discover my bespoke services

Circle shaped save the date card with monogram hot foiled in chartreuse green
White letterpress wedding invitation with a die cut arch revealing names in white hot foil
Romantic and elegant letterpress wedding menu with blind deboss and a blush place name
Contemporary and playful save the date letterpressed in teal on textured card

FAQs about letterpress wedding stationery

CAN A DESIGN HAVE MORE THAN ONE COLOUR?

I HAVE DESIGNED MY OWN STATIONERY, CAN YOU PRINT IT?

CAN I HAVE LETTERPRESS PRINTING ON BLACK CARD?

DO I GET A SAMPLE OF MY LETTERPRESS WEDDING STATIONERY?

IS THERE A MINIMUM QUANTITY ORDER?

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