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letterpress & design studio

Here at Inker Tinker I am the very proud owner of a beautifully restored Chandler & Price platen press built in Ohio, USA in the 1920's, weighing in at a whopping 700kg. Combining hand mixed inks and luxurious thick cotton papers, letterpress printing is a beautiful old fashioned art form that is being reinvented and loved by many today.

Letterpress printing was the main form of printing text and books up until the mid 1900's. The typesetter would hand set letter by letter and line by line,  producing the page of text. Most of the old presses were put aside in favour of the offset press which was faster and more economical to produce prints. When computers and digital printing became commonplace letterpress became a dying art.

Gradually, as handmade is becoming popular again, the old printing presses are being collected and restored. And with the invention of the raised surface photopolymer printing plates the possibilities for what can be created through letterpress are endless. From the digital design on the computer a printing plate is made. The plate is set up on the press which is operated by a foot treddle. Ink is rolled over the plate while a single sheet of paper is hand fed into the press, as the press closes it leaves a deep impression and ink on the paper. When the press opens again the paper is removed and the next sheet is fed in. Each colour has it's own printing plate and this process is repeated until all of the colours make up the finished design. Truly a labour of love.

FROM THE INKER TINKER PRESS

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