In about 1439 a goldsmith, engraver, graphic and German inventor, Johannes Gutenberg, started a revolution in the press with the invention of movable metal type.
Johannes Gensfleisch, known as Gutenberg was born in the German city of Mainz in about 1455 and completed the first major book printed in Europe, the Bible - which became known as the Gutenberg Bible or Bible of 42 lines - using the technique of printing invented by himself.
Among the many contributions of Gutenberg for printing are: the invention of a process for the mass production of movable types, the use of oil-based inks and the use of a wood press similar to agricultural screw presses of the period. His invention truly memorable was combining these elements into a practical system which allowed the mass production of printed books - that were previously hand written.
The Gutenberg press worked with letters and symbols in relief, carved in metal. Although innovative, pioneering the technique was not because since the 7th century AD, that calendars and holy books were already printed by the Chinese, who used ideograms carved in wood, but Gutenberg created movable type more resistant of metal, which could be reused in other printed works, and so the books are no longer exclusive to the nobles and the clergy, because they could be produced and purchased at much more affordable prices.
Gutenberg developed a complete printing system, which perfected the printing process at all stages by adapting existing technologies to inventions of his own. He greatly improved the process by treating typesetting and printing as two separate work steps.
Gutenberg's invention enabled the mass printing of books and the spread of learning. The printing press was an important step towards the democratization of knowledge.
This revolution started the mass media, which has been designated by the theorist Marshall McLuhan as the beginning of 'typographic man'.
The invention and spread of the printing press are widely regarded as among the most influential events in the second millennium, revolutionizing the way people conceive and describe the world they live in, and ushering in the period of modernity.
The letterpress or printing press was the dominant form of printing up to the 60s of the twentieth century, when it was replaced by lithography.
Letterpress is essentially handmade, because old presses are used that are not produced anymore, although in recent years there has been a rediscovery and appreciation of certain graphic designers by this printing method, which resulted in recovery of some of these machines.
The printing press is the oldest and most versatile method of printing. It is a relief printing, or printing through a raised surface. However, despite having high quality is a slow process.
The letterpress printing is a process in which one can use movable type for text or a griddle in which is stamped in relief the design and text.
Once in the press, ink rollers touch only the surface relief and the ink is transferred directly to the paper.
Inks of different colors can be used in letterpress printing, however it is necessary to wait for every ink to dry before the next is applied to a different matrix placed in the press.
Thus, for each additional color the time and the cost of production practically doubles and is more common to use only one or two colors.
Apart from those reasons, this type of printing works best with only one or two colors - and preferably in thin lines - although it also can get good works with more colors.
In the XXI century we can speak of a digital letterpress, because the conception of design is often performed on the computer, and then the print made by artisanal method created by Gutenberg in the XV century.
The goal before this revival was that you could not tell there was an impression, the type contacted the paper just enough to transfer the ink but not leave an impression. However today, when speaking of letterpress, the goal is to have that impression be evident, to distinctly note that is letterpress.
Letterpress printing's strengths are crisp lines, patterns, and typography (fonts).
I nurture a passion for the bite of characters on paper - that low-relief characteristic of letterpress.
Nowadays this technique was largely abandoned by the typographies, replaced by more modern techniques such as offset and digital.
I create the graphical design to be printed in any medium, but only print by letterpress printing technique, not using offset or mixed techniques to simulate the letterpress, as do the majority of current printing houses.
So this is a work from and for passionates about letterpress.
All the material I use is ecological, either the vegetable-based inks (inks vegetable oils) or the 100% cotton papers. And the production itself is also environmentally friendly because all the work is manual (no electric power).
I accept orders for small quantities starting from 100 copies. I send prices for 100, 250, 500, 1000 copies in each of the services listed in the Graphic Design menu.
The work of creating the graphic design is independent of the print job, so I can order the two types of work or just one. Ie, you can order me the graphic design to be printed by others, or order me just the impression if you already have the design ready to print.