Letterpress is truly an ancient art, dating back to A.D 175 in China. From those early days until the 1400s, the process remained more or less unchanged, with non-printing areas cut away from blocks of wood or stone.
In the mid 15th Century, Johannes Gutenberg invented a process which not only revolutionised print, but changed the whole world. Books could now be produced faster, cheaper, and in greater quantities, allowing information and ideas to be shared and human knowledge expanded.
Gutenberg invented a way of creating moveable type by casting individual letters from molten metal. This remained the principal printing method throughout the world until the late 1960s when offset litho began to be adopted by the print industry.
Although letterpress printing has been entirely forsaken by the industry in favour of other methods better suited to mass production, letterpress still has much to offer. The look and feel are unmistakeable - when combined with the right paper, the inked surface becomes slightly debossed adding another dimension.
These days, we mostly print from photopolymer plates, allowing our customers to supply artwork as computer files. These plates also allow us to print with a heavier impression, which would quickly wear out lead foundry type.
Glasgow Press are pleased to be among the few jobbing printers in the UK to continue to offer fine letterpress printing.