Letterpress Wedding Invitations

Today, I checked out a REALLY old printing press in use. A couple of friends of mine Nisse and Quincy, (both of which I’ve photographed with their partners: HERE and HERE) decided to hand-make Nisse’s brother’s wedding invitations. They used an early 1900’s Chandler & Price hand press. I’m a little amazed they were able to get as good a result as they did! The machine’s took a little bit of adjusting to get it to lay down the right amount of ink. But, when everything was dialed in, the efficiency of the process was really impressive. I’ve heard about small wedding invitation companies that create all types of wedding collateral on this type of machine. After seeing how it’s done first hand, I am even more impressed by the process.

I looked up letterpress wedding invitations on Wikipedia and was surprised to find information on the subject.

“Letterpress publishing has recently undergone a revival in the USA, Canada, and the UK, under the general banner of the ‘Small Press Movement’. Renewed interest in letterpress was fueled by Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, which began using pictures of letterpress invitations in the 1990s. The beauty and texture became appealing to brides who began wanting letterpress invitations instead of engraved, thermographed, or offset-printed invitations. At the same time, presses were being discarded by commercial print shops, and became affordable and available to artisans throughout the country. Popular presses are, in particular, Vandercook cylinder proof presses and Chandler & Price platen presses. In the UK there is particular affection for the Arab press, built by Josiah Wade in Halifax…… Affordable copper, magnesium and photopolymer platemakers and milled aluminum bases have allowed letterpress printers to produce type and images derived from digital artwork, fonts and scans. Economical plates have encouraged the rise of “digital letterpress” in the 21st Century, allowing a small number of firms to flourish commercially and enabling a larger number of boutique and hobby printers to avoid the limitations and complications of acquiring and composing metal type.” (

Check out the short video of the process and images below.

Iphone & Ipad users try this link: HERE

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