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What is digital letterpress?

Our production process is entirely digital from initial design until the plate goes on the press. We start with digital files, either produced in-house or received from the client. We then do extensive pre-press evaluation of the files, correcting for a number of important variables which can affect the letterpress impression. For example, we check that all colors are specified as 100% solid spot colors, and that all type is correctly rendering as 'overprint' rather than 'knock-out'. We'll add a tiny bit of weight to very fine features, adjust the placement of punctuation and tweak the spacing of odd letter combinations. Most people will labor to see the difference before and after, but that is exactly the difference between "acceptable" and exquisite!

Although we worked our way up with hot-metal and foundry type set in a stick from a "California Job Case", we cannot see ever going back, at least not for our invitation and business stationery work. Digital type faces are far more efficient, and can, in the right hands, produce typography which is more precise and appropriate than metal type ever could!

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