Bookplate Ink is embarking on an exciting new printing venture that combines the vintage charm of letterpress with our unique classic designs. We are thrilled to announce that we will be providing letterpress printing services for select designs and customized artwork. But what exactly is letterpress printing, and why are we so enthusiastic about it?
Letterpress printing is a traditional printing method that involves pressing inked type or images onto paper. The type or images are raised, and when pressed onto the paper, they leave an impression that creates a slightly raised surface. Letterpress printing is known for its high-quality, tactile look and feel, pairing well with our vintage designs and quality, non-glossy, self-adhesive paper. Letterpress printing has experienced a revival in recent years, with many people rediscovering the art and craft of this traditional printing method.
Years ago, our bookplates were exclusively printed on a Heidelberg rotary press as seen in the accompanying image. Regrettably, our press malfunctioned and we lost our printer within the same month, compelling us to discontinue this production method. However, we are excited to announce a new partnership with Carillon Park, a nearby history museum/park located in Dayton, Ohio. Carillon Park boasts a fully operational letterpress print shop staffed by skilled artisans. Each bookplate produced at Carillon Park will start with the artwork produced on a copper plate and will be meticulously run on the press under the watchful guidance of a skilled printer, who will supervise the ink and ensure precise placement on the paper.
While letterpress printing is renowned for its elegance and precision, it does have certain limitations. Due to the roller inking process, full-color bookplate printing is not possible using letterpress. Nevertheless, we are currently providing letterpress printing services for our most sought-after single-color bookplates, with or without personalization. When you request text on one of the letterpress bookplates, it will be set on the linotype machine shown here, then set in the plate. The bookplates we are are offering with letterpress printing are shown at here.
Additionally, we can create bookplates with custom artwork of a single color with crisp, clean lines. You can submit your artwork or design idea to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if it is suitable for letterpress printing, or place your order here.
In the current resurgence of letterpress printing, some printers tend to create a pronounced impression on the paper during the printing process. Traditional letterpress printers do not want a deep impression on the paper because it can damage the printing plate, distort the design, and cause the paper to become too thin, making it more prone to tearing or showing through on the other side. Instead, printers aim to achieve a subtle, crisp impression that adds texture and depth to the printed piece without compromising its legibility or durability, known in the trade as a “kiss impression.” Bookplate Ink is proud to partner with the skilled artisans at Carillon Park who practice this traditional letterpress method.
Shown here is Carillon Park printer Jim Widner proudly displaying the first bookplates printed there, a beautiful custom design by David Schmitt (@tuyo.art on Instagram) for our customer, Ryan Lawson (@ryanclawson on Instagram).