This page was printed from http://www.wilkintie.com/project/letterpress/ on 31-07-2014.
With the introduction of the high-volume offset process in the middle of last century letterpress became an outmoded process. In recent years a small but passionate community of high-quality art and hobby letterpress printers have emerged, producing fine printed material in the tradition of the craft printers of last century.
The process requires a high degree of craftsmanship and skill, and in the right hands letterpress has wonderful qualities. The press creates an impression into the paper, giving greater visual definition to the artwork, and a three dimensional effect. The spread of ink provides a richer look, picking up on the texture of the paper, and giving the image life. Each print is unique.
Letterpress has environmental benefits over other printing types. As each print is hand-fed, and can be checked for colour and impression without having to keep the machine running, the wastage is very low. Also the process uses very little (almost no) water, and clean-up is done using vegetable oils.
All our prints are printed by Wilkintie’s Niels at the Idlewild studio, a boutique letterpress studio in the historic Nicholas Building in Melbourne. Idlewild is considered to be one of the best letterpress studios in Australia. The presses are wonderfully well maintained 19th century machines (see pics above), each with their own quirks and characteristics.