Attention Graphic Design Geeks: This is for Your Letterpress Inspiration (+ Tutorial)

Letterpress printing, also known as relief printing, is a process involving a press where images are created using a reversed, inked, raised surface that is pressed into a sheet of paper to obtain a positive right-reading image. The process can be pretty costly, but I think the final result is always a classy, upscale look with a heavy tactile quality that can’t be replicated. If you love letterpress like I do, enjoy:

Letterpress doesn’t always have to be applied to wedding invitations and baby shower announcements. Check out the marketing collateral below for Swink, Inc. printed by Studio on Fire (who we mentioned in a previous post here). Studio on Fire specializes in lots of great design (for designers, mostly) where they apply the use of letterpress in a lot of amazing pieces beyond the traditional invitation category.
Swink Inc. Marketing Collateral

Swink Inc. Marketing Collateral

Swink Inc. Marketing Collateral

I was pretty excited to find out that the International Print Museum (in Torrance, CA) has an Etsy shop that carries a lot of vintage, one-of-a-kind jewelry, posters and more relating to letterpress.

Print Museum Etsy ShopPrint Museum Etsy ShopPrint Museum Etsy Shop

If you appreciate the art of printing as a whole, check out this the trailer below for Typeface, a documentary about the history of print. Visit the Website here.
typefacethefilm

Although it’s probably impossible to replicate the authenticity of real letterpress printing, there are some alternative resources you can check out as a designer like online tutorials. Pugly Pixel, a Blog dedicated to web graphics, tutorials and inspiration, published this tutorial about how to create a letterpress effect using Photoshop. Watch it below, and check out the site for more tutorials here.
letterpress_puglypixel

Finally, check out the video below for a proposed iPad app called  LetterMpress™. The app’s designer, John Bonadies, promises that LetterMpress™ will allow anyone to create authentic-looking letterpress designs and prints using the same design process as used in a traditional letterpress printing. The user may “place and arrange type and cuts on a press bed, lock the type, ink the type, and print, allowing for unlimited designs, with multiple colors, using authentic vintage wood type and art cuts.”

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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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