Deciduous Press

About letterpress

Letterpress is a relief printing process in which a print surface is pressed against a piece of paper to create a print. “Relief” means that the print surface or the positive 'black' areas of the print are raised above the non-printing or 'white' areas of the print. This raised surface is inked and then pressed into a piece of paper, transferring the ink to the paper and creating the print.

Traditionally letterpress printers went to great lengths to ensure their prints showed no impression and that the paper only 'kissed' the surface of the plate. In todays digital world, we treasure the tactile impression effect created when a sheet of soft paper is pressed against the print surface. It is this impression that gives the print its authenticity, drawing attention to the process that created it. By using a soft paper, such as our 100% cotton paper, a deep impression can be achieved for maximum effect.

Letterpress is a slow and time consuming process that requires a high level of skill. We approach the process like fine art printing - each print is unique and great care is taken to prepare for each print run. Commercially letterpress printing has largely been abandoned due to cost and time - however it is the perfect process for printing unique pieces such as wedding invitations which are treasured forever.

Our workshop

Our workshop is home to three Heidelberg T-Platen presses. They are known as 'clam shell' or jobbing-style presses, which means to create an impression two surfaces come together - one surface holds the printing plate, and the 'platen' provides the pressure to create the print. German built and made in an era when quality mattered, these presses have been printing for over fifty years (each!). They are entirely mechanical with numerous levers, knobs and oiling points that keep them running smoothly. All have a wonderful patina developed over the years and their own unique swooshing sounds as they open and close. On our presses we print, die cut and score all of our stationery. When you order with us your pieces will be printed one or all of these presses with great care and attention to detail.