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INVENTION HISTORY PARTS OF THE MACHINE PROCESS INVOLVED USES COMPARISON WITH OTHER PROCESSES
SUBMITTED BY: PRACHI FC-V NIFT MUMBAI
Francesco Griffo. cast well in the die. as long as the metal in which they were cast did not wear down. Before Gutenberg. The Invention of Letterpress Printing . were put together to form words. Venice quickly became the center of typographic and printing activity. and lines of type were brought together to make up a page. from the single Mainz press in 1457 to 110 presses by 1480. was carved in relief on a small block. The mirror image of each letter (rather than entire words or phrases). It was then possible to use and reuse the separate pieces of type. Since letters could be arranged into any format. simply by arranging them in the desired order. Between 1436 and 1450 he developed hardware and techniques for casting letters from matrices using a device called the hand mould. of which 50 were in Italy. Individual letters. words separated by blank spaces formed lines of type. It was extremely time-consuming. the hand mould was the first practical means of making cheap copies of letterpunches in the vast quantities needed to print complete books. and be durable in the press. Gutenberg devised an alloy of lead.The Invention of Movable Type Printing Johannes Gutenberg of Mainz is acknowledged as the first to invent a metal movable-type printing system in Europe. an infinite variety of texts could be printed by reusing and resetting the type. easily movable. Significant were the contributions of Nicolas Jenson. even a small book could take months to complete. or printed from hand-carved wooden blocks. and the first Latin typefacesGutenberg's movable-type printing system spread rapidly across Europe. Gutenberg and his associates developed oil-based inks ideally suited to printing with a press on paper. Aldus Manutius. and other printers of late 15th-century Europe. Gutenberg's key invention and contribution to movable-type printing in Europe. Gutenberg was a goldsmith familiar with techniques of cutting punches for making coins from moulds. and the carved letters or blocks were very flimsy and the susceptibility of wood to ink gave such blocks a limited lifespan. books were copied out by hand on scrolls and paper. making the movable-type printing process a viable enterprise. tin and antinomy that would melt at low temperature.
9901051) invented movable clay type in the 11th century---a painstaking process that involved placing thinly cut pieces of baked clay upon an iron plate covered with heated resin and wax. This type of printing existed centuries before a German. In 1444. What Gutenberg did was invent a device that put individually cast. when Johann Gutenberg (c. In fact. then inked and applied the letters with pressure to sheets of paper placed below. Europeans were already dozens of years into employing xylography. which is a relief-printing artistic technique. the mass production of print material. Johann Gutenberg. for the first time. 1400-1468) was putting together his printing press. Johann Gutenberg 2. and began to mass-produce documents and books. The most famous one of them all is known today as the "Gutenberg Bible. invented the printing press---an invention that propagated the widespread use of letterpress printing. The Chinese were performing woodblock printing as far back as the eighth century." of which he printed the first 200 copies in 1455.Letterpress printing is the process that involves using movable components dipped in ink to produce text or images when pressed onto paper. A scratchboard illustration of Gutenberg with his printing press By 1440. Widespread use . Origins in East Asia 1. reusable metal letters in a frame. it is believed that a Chinese man named Bi Sheng (c. and then pressing a board upon it to form the print. Gutenberg opened a printing shop. This revolutionized printing in that it allowed.
3. producing books the number of which scholars estimate to be between 8 million and 24 million. who became England's first printer when he set up his press in Westminster. By the end of the century. Friedrich Koenig (1774-1833) and Andres Bauer (1783-1860) invented the world's first high-speed printing press. Facsimile of page 1 of William Caxton's "Godefrey of Boloyne" (1481) Gutenberg's invention grew in popularity throughout Europe after his death. and then added the double-sided. Perhaps the most famous of the printers of this era is William Caxton (c. 1422-1492). there were printing shops set up in more than 2. The Industrial Revolution 4. presses were invented to be even more efficient than that of Gutenberg.500 European cities. Pupils under his tutelage became some of the world's earliest printers. continuously rolling paper feature in 1871. Richard Hoe (1812-1886) invented a steampowered rotary press that he patented in 1847. Letterpress printing today . A steam-powered rotary press With the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. and most of the printers in the latter half of the 15th century were of German origin.
The Gutenberg Bible . But the wood work was extremely time-consuming and the carved letters or blocks were very fragile and the susceptibility of wood to ink gave such blocks a limited lifespan. and more durable than wooden blocks. He made metal moulds. With the continued advance of printing technology. The press enabled sharp impressions on both sides of a sheet of paper and many repetitions. After a page was printed. For this he used a hand press used in his times by wine industry. books were either copied out by hand on scrolls and paper. and the frame was then pressed against the paper. 7. each block printing a whole page. the hand-carved letters were different.5. the type could be reused for printing other pages. The invention of mass printing practices changed our world and the print invention is regarded by many as the invention of the millennium. a part of a page or even individual letters. or printed from handcarved wooden blocks. several colleges and universities today have programs teaching the art form for such applications as event cards and book covers. Such letters could be arranged and rearranged many times as the printer wished to create different pages from the same letters. Before Gutenberg. and even a small book could take months to complete. by the use of dies. Gutenberg also introduced the use of printing press to press the type against paper. into which he could pour hot liquid metal. Ink was rolled over the raised surfaces of the hand-set letters held within a wooden frame. Moreover. These letters were similar. 8. However. Gutenberg is generally credited with the invention of practical movable type. 6. more readable. letterpress printing decreased in popularity by the mid-20th century. in order to produce separate letters as the same shape as those written by hand. Gutenberg introduced his invention around 1450.
reusable letters set together in a form (frame). also known as the Gutenberg Bible or the Mainz Bible (for the place where it was produced).9. based on the extant wine press. but he is generally accredited with the world s first book printed by movable type. A contemporary account by a visitor to Mainz indicates that the book was nearly ready in October 1454 and available for sale by March 1455. but the best guess is that around 180-145 on paper and a few more on the more luxurious and expensive vellum. and used as the official version of the Roman catholic Church. 10. The 42 line Bible (the number of lines per page). It took Gutenberg at least two years to complete his first book. where the type surface was inked with leather covered ink balls and paper . Gutenberg s name does not appear on any of his work. He also invented a wooden printing press.the Latin version of the Bible prepared mainly by Saint Jerome at the end of the 4th century A. No one knows exactly how many copies of the Bible were printed. Johannes Gutenberg is credited with the invention of modern movable type printing from individually-cast. Gutenberg's Bible edition is the Vulgate .D. History In about 1440.
It is more convenient and user friendly than a flexo press. The printing quality achieved by a modern letterpress machine with UV curing is on par with flexo presses. the inking was carried out by rollers which would pass over the face of the type and move out of the way onto a separate ink plate where they would pick up a fresh film of ink for the following sheet. Meanwhile. a papier-mâché mixture called a flong was used to make a mould of the entire form of type. In a newspaper press. but the principle was the same. Later metal presses used a knuckle and lever arrangement instead of the screw.laid carefully on top by hand. then dried and bent. Fully-automated. etc. Water- . Industrial-scale use in the 20th century Rotary presses were used for high-speed work. and a curved metal plate cast against it. There is also still a large amount of flexographic printing. tube laminate. In the oscillating press. With the advent of industrial mechanisation. incorporated pneumatic feed and delivery of the sheet. a sheet of paper was slid against a hinged platen (see image) which was then rapidly pressed onto the type and swung back again to have the sheet removed and the next sheet inserted (during which operation the now freshly-inked rollers would run over the type again). cup stock. Ink rollers made of composition made inking faster and paved the way for further automation. sliding back under the inking rollers while the paper was removed and a new sheet inserted. then slid under a padded surface and pressure applied from above by a large threaded screw. The plates were clipped to a rotating drum and could print against a continuous reel of paper at the enormously high speeds required for overnight newspaper production. a similar process. 20thcentury presses. Rotary letterpress machines are still used on a wide scale for printing of selfadhesive and non self-adhesive labels. the form slid under a drum around which each sheet of paper got wrapped for the impression. which uses rubber plates to print on curved or awkward surfaces. and a lesser amount of relief printing from huge wooden letters for lower-quality poster work. such as the Kluge and "Original" Heidelberg Platen (the "Windmill"). Rotary letterpress The invention of ultra-violet curing inks has helped keep the rotary letterpress alive in areas like self-adhesive labels.
rotary die cutting. There are various manufacturers of UV rotary letterpress machines. unlike flexo. TYPE FOUNDING . a counterpunch is made. Nickel. UV inks for Letterpress are in paste form. viz. The counter shapes are transferred in relief (cameo) onto the end of a rectangular bar of mild steel using a specialized engraving tool called a graver. Today even CtP (computer-to-plate) plates are available making it a full-fledged. The outer profile of the glyph is completed by scraping away with a graver the material outside the counter spaces. Dashen. etc. Because there is no anilox roller in the process. The central impression presses are more popular than inline presses due to their ease of registration and simple design.wash photopolymer plates are used which are as good as any solvent-washed flexo plate. sheeting. Taiyo Kikai. rotary screen printing. flatbed die cutting. and inkjet numbering. the make ready time also goes down when compared to a flexo press. KoPack. Printing of up to nine colours plus varnish is possible with various online converting processes. which also offer hot/cold foil stamping. adhesive side printing. modern printing process. Gallus. Inking is controlled by keys very much similar to an offset press. Type-founding as practiced in Europe and the west consists of three stages. or exposure to a cyanide solution (case hardening). leaving only the stroke or . The finished counterpunch is hardened by heating and quenching (tempering). The counterpunch is then struck against the end of a similar rectangular steel bar²the letterpunch²to impress the counter shapes as recessed spaces (intaglio). Punchcutting: If the glyph design includes enclosed spaces (counters).
a yard wide. factory-produced movable type was available in the late 19th century. a drawer about 2 inches high. Regardless of who actually invented the case. just by watching the positions of the compartments where the typesetter reached for his letters. o. . in order to make his typesetting more efficient. called a matrix. r) are arranged in a rough circle directly in front of the typesetter. called a sort. known as "type height".918 inches. which took its name from the Pacific coast location of the foundries that made the case popular. with many small compartments for the various letters and ligatures. When the type metal has sufficiently cooled. The most popular and accepted of the job case designs in America was the California Job Case. is extracted. Typesetting Modern. The mould is clamped shut and molten type metal alloy consisting mostly of lead and tin. The finished letterpunch is finally hardened to withstand the rigors of reproduction by striking. the inventor arranged the compartments according to the letters' frequency of use. is later removed to make the sort the precise height required for printing. is poured into a cavity from the top. Matrix: The letterpunch is used to strike a blank die of soft metal to make a negative letter mould. Progress toward the finished design is checked by successive smoke proofs. i. Antimony has the rare property of expanding as it cools. Casting: The matrix is inserted into the bottom of a device called a hand mould. giving the casting sharp edges . It was held in the printing shop in a job case. while the less-frequently used letters and characters are farther away. and about two feet deep. The arrangement of the letters in the California Job Case became so popular and commonly adopted that a skilled typesetter could "read" the text set by another typesetter. approximately 0. n. the mould is unlocked and a rectangular block approximately 4 centimeters long. e. called the tang. The more frequent letters (t. temporal prints made from a thin coating of carbon deposited on the punch surface by a candle flame. Excess casting on the end of the sort.lines of the glyph. with a small amount of antimony for hardening.
with the rightmost sections containing capital letters in alphabetic order except for the "J" and "U". such as "ff". with the numbers 1 to 8 at the top of the center section. such as em and en quads (quadrats.ffi fl j b ? ! l z 5/m 4/m k 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 $ £ Æ æ e c d i s f g ff 9 A B C D E F G fi 0 H I K L M N O m n h o y p w . "fi". In addition to placing the most commonly used letters in setting text in a given language in the easiest positions for the typesetter to get to. The lower case letters and punctuation marks are in the left and center sections. this is why capital letters are called "upper case" characters while the non-capitals are "lower case". and "z" boxes are the smallest. "x". en qd em qd P Q R x v q u t 3/em spaces S T V W . while the ligatures (combined letters. . "k". moved to the lowest line to help avoid confusing them with "I" and "V" respectively. the capital letters were stored in a separate drawer or case that was located above the case that held the other letters. A quadrat is a block of type whose face is lower than the printing letters so that it does not itself print. the characters' boxes varied in size depending upon the frequency of usage of the character. Other large compartments in the California Job Case held spacers. Thus for English the "e" box is the largest while the "j". which are blocks of blank type used to separate words and fill out a line of type.). "æ" etc. An em space was the width of a capital letter "M" ± as wide as it was high ± while an en space referred to a space half the width of its height (usually the dimensions for a capital "N"). Prior to the adoption of the California Job Case. "q". : 2 & 3-em quads - X Y Z J U & ffl The California Job Case The California Job Case has three sections. or spaces.) are in various locations about the exterior. a r .
and since the introduction of digital typesetting. moveable type was composed by hand for each page. Cast metal sorts were composited into words and lines of text and tightly bound together to make up a page image called a forme. the entire forme is pressed into a fine matrix such as plaster of Paris or papier mâché called Flong to create a positive. hand composition and letterpress printing did not fall completely out of use. However. Printing also . c point size. 4 foot. it is a very small niche within the larger typesetting market. The forme was mounted in a press. freeing the costly type for other work. The forme is mounted on a printing press. 1 shoulder. EFFECTS OF THE INVENTION The immediate effect of the printing press was to multiply the output and cut the costs of books. It thus made information available to a much larger segment of the population who were. inked. "Sorts" is the term given to special characters not freely available in the typical type case. a thin coating of viscous ink is applied and impressions made on paper under great pressure in the press. such as the "@" mark. it has seen a revival as an artisanal pursuit. Libraries could now store greater quantities of information at much lower cost. Wooden printing sorts were in use for centuries in combination with metal type. use and replacement of sorts. with a keyboard as input. 2 nick. of course. Still. Copies of formes were cast when anticipating subsequent printings of a text. where all letter faces are exactly the same height to form a flat surface of type. eager for information of any variety. and the whole assembly is tightly bound together to make up a page image called a forme. and an impression made on paper.Individual letters are assembled into words and lines of text with the aid of a composing stick. The diagram at right illustrates a cast metal sort: a face. etc. b body or shank. Hand composing was rendered commercially obsolete by continuous casting or hotmetal typesetting machines such as the Linotype machine and Monotype at the end of the 19th century. The Linotype. 3 groove. with all letter faces exactly the same height to form an even surface of type. enabled one machine operator to do the work of ten hand compositors by automating the selection. invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler. calledstereotyping. Later advances such as thetypewriter and computer would push the state of the art even farther ahead. from which the stereotype forme was cast of type metal. In this process. During the letterpress era.
sheet-fed and web-fed. Typically. By giving all scholars the same text to work from. Like all rotary presses. some of the . Rotary Letterpress Printing There are two types of rotary letterpresses. the unit-design perfecting rotary press and the rotary letterpress typically used for magazine printing. rotary letterpress requires curved image carrying plates. however. electrotype. usually the high-velocity hot air type. The most popular types of plates used are stereotype. and molded plastic or rubber. they can print up to four pages across the web. practical and travel manuals. in fact these sheetfed rotary presses are no longer manufactured in the U.facilitated the dissemination and preservation of knowledge in standardized form -this was most important in the advance of science. The two most common types of letterpress presses. Printers responded with moralizing. The printing press certainly initiated an "information revolution" on par with the Internet today. Web-fed rotary letterpress presses are used primarily for printing newspapers. and upper and middle class people bought books on all subjects. and rotary presses. Web-fed rotary presses are the most popular type of letter press printing. flat-bed. When printing on coated papers. Printing provided a superior basis for scholarship and prevented the further corruption of texts through hand copying.S. Printing stimulated the literacy of lay people and eventually came to have a deep and lasting impact on their private lives. students. it made progress in critical scholarship and science faster and more reliable. technology and scholarship. businessmen. rotary presses use heat-set inks and are equipped with dryers. Printing could and did spread new ideas quickly and with greater impact. medical. Sheetfed rotary presses are also declining in use. These presses are designed to print both sides of the web simultaneously. Although most of the earliest books dealt with religious subjects. DIFFERENT TYPES OF LETTERPRESS PRINTING MACHINES Letterpress Equipment Design There are three different types of letterpress printing devices in use today: platen.
Rotary presses can be either sheet-fed or have paper fed off a large roll called a web. packaging. which can ruin the print. and hot-leaf stamping. posters. The printing area is usually limited to a maximum of 18 inches by 24 inches. and stationary. and many other types of printed products. Rotary letterpress is also used for long-run commercial. The platen and bed carry both the paper and the type form. The platen style press has been widely used in printing small-town newspapers since the late 1800s. Rotary letterpress machines require a curved printing plate that can be affixed to cylinder.new presses can print up to six pages across a 90-inch web. Platen-type Letterpress Printing A platen press is made up of two flat surfaces called the bed and the platen. It is common for the roller that applies ink to the plate to be scraped to avoid excess inking. The raised plate (image to be printed) is locked onto a flat surface. the substrate is then placed on another flat surface called the bed and pressed against the inked plate producing the impression. billheads. The platen provides a smooth backing for the paper or other substrate that is to be printed. The paper is pressed against the print plate by another cylinder. The plate is inked with an inking roller that transfers ink from an inking plate to the image carrier. Platen printing is typically used for short runs such as invitations. Rotary letterpress printing is commonly employed for the production of newspapers and magazines. Ink is placed on the inking plate by an ink fountain roller. . forms. announcements. This roller may feed ink onto secondary metering rollers or may apply ink directly onto the printing plate. Ink is fed and applied to roller from an ink tray. name cards. These presses are also used to print letterhead. embossing. Larger platen presses are used for diecutting and embossing. and the ink is transferred to the printable surface in use. referred to as the impression cylinder. as well as for imprinting. book. and magazine printing. The plate is inked. The press then opens and closes like a clam shell. referred to as web printing. Some platen presses are arranged with the bed and platen in the vertical plane.
the plate is fixed to a chase (a type of frame) and placed into the print bed. The horizontal bed press. Flat-Bed Cylinder Letterpress Printing Flat-bed cylinder presses use either vertical or horizontal beds. letterheads and forms. having a production rate of not more than 5. The plate is locked to a bed which passes over an inking roller and then against the substrate. Ink is supplied to the plate cylinder by an inking roller and an ink fountain. As the paper is pulled around the impression cylinder. Flatbed letterpress printing is a slow process and. Paper is fed onto the platen.Platen letterpress printing is often used for announcements. On flatbed printing presses. As a result. On platen printing presses. is rarely done in the United States. will print stock as large as 42 inches by 56 inches. The platen and bed are then closed together. Flat-bed cylinder presses operate very slowly. a flat surface that is opposite of the print bed. much of the printing formerly done on this type of press is now done using rotary letterpress or lithography. The impression cylinder pulls a sheet paper around it by way of small grippers that are attached to the cylinder. . Flat-bed cylinder presses. the plate is affixed in the same manner as on a platen press. is no longer manufactured in the United States.000 impressions per hour. The printing plate is inked by a roller. the entire bed with the plate moves under the impression cylinder. which operate in a manner similar to the platen press. The substrate passes around an impression cylinder on its way from the feed stack to the delivery stack. Think of this like a clam shell being closed. transferring the ink to the substrate as it goes. The ink is transferred to the substrate (usually a paper product) and the process is complete. Another way of describing this is that a single revolution of the cylinder moves over the bed while in a vertical position so that both the bed holding the substrate and cylinder move up and down in a reciprocating motion. the slower of the two types of flat-bed cylinder press. as such. Ink is applied to the plate by a roller or rollers. The presses can print either one or two-color impressions.
However. Image Preparation of Letterpress Printing Plates Letterpress printing uses type that is raised above (relief) the non-printing areas. line drawings were etched or engraved into plates. most letterpress companies combine the ancient art with a relatively new technique that includes printing with photopolymer plates. In traditional letterpress work. because it is much less labor intensive . Major chemicals used in letterpress printing. This is the "photopolymer plate" that will be used to press into the soft paper later in the process.Traditionally. creating a raised surface. and over the last decade has created a demand in fine stationery and wedding invitations. very similar to those used in lithography. This transparency will allow photopolymer film to be exposed through it. Once cleaned. and all these were placed (composed) on a flat marble stone. letterpress has been done with mostly steel. Letterpress has been used for centuries to widely distribute printed material. .reducing the overall cost. Expensive. time consuming adjustments must be made throughout the press run to make sure the impression pressure is just right. along with hand etched pictures. Offset decreased the demand on this antique art. in such a widely digital world. pressed into paper. has spurred on a new wave of letterpress lovers. and flat printed onto a transparency. explanatory cuts were placed nearby. and blanket and roller washes. lead or carved wooden type. include film developers and fixers. broken up into each color. These plates begin as a digital design. it is attached to a plate (usually either steel or acrylic). the tactile charisma that letterpress offers. The amount of pressure per square inch or "squeeze" is greater on some highlight dots than it is on larger shadow dots. within a rigid frame (chase) spaced artistically with blocks (furniture) tightened up (locked-up) with toothed angular blocks (quoins). inks. Nowadays. letters were assembled into copy. Process of Letterpress Printing How letterpress works: Letterpress printing exerts variable amounts of pressure on the substrate dependent on the size and image elements in the printing. Letterpress struggled with the invention of offset printing (flat printing).
the image is a raised surface. removing all ink. it is time to start printing. Letterpress printing is the oldest form of press printing in the world. Then the operator will print on to the transparency. as will the ink coverage. these plates were cast out of metal. Letterpress has become an atypical method of printing. while others are calibrated to automatically feed each sheet. Historically. the operator will clean the press down. If there is an additional color. the operator will likely move to adjust the printing depth. So. All of the paper being used must be cut to exact dimensions to keep everything aligned properly. he might have to add or remove tape from the rails that the ink rollers pass along. Some machines need the operator to hand feed each sheet of paper that is to be printed. It is still available in many specialty printing shops and is used for a variety of purposes including business cards. allowing extra care to be taken to properly align multiple colors. but have been largely replaced with photopolymer material plates due to lower expense and reduction of chemical . removing all previous make-ready. and oil the entire press. Every design has a different impression. Usually this will also allow the inking to be even. so here is one that might be used: Make-ready begins with inking the machine up with a thin layer of ink. letterheads and embossing. the full process starts over. and therefore will print differently." Every operator has a different process of make-ready. The depth of the impression will vary. to allow for a deeper or shallower impression in a specific area. preparing the press to print. for the proper "registration" (alignment). having been replaced in large part by faster and cheaper printing methods such as offset and flexographic printing. Once finished with the make-ready process. Once the registration is set properly. raising or lowering the ink rollers. to determine exactly where to place the paper. The letterpress process uses relief printing plates. the operator must perform his "make-ready. This requires the operator to raise or lower certain areas of the printed region. On relief plates.Next comes the most difficult part of the process. and taping a transparency where the paper will eventually go. After printing is finished. so that it will be consistent throughout the piece. but when it isn't.
especially on thinner sheets. smaller type can fill in. however. Letterpress pieces can be run through the press two times using the same color. Solid areas can also cause the paper to ripple. Solids: Letterpress solids will print differently from conventionally printed lithographic solids. forms. For reversed type the point size should be 12 point or larger. Thickness: Art must be above ¼ point and with no hairlines. posters. platen and flatbed. billheads. For light colors on dark paper. the process tends to show the texture of the sheet. foil stamping or engraving should be used instead of Letterpress. Trapping and key lines do not work . Applications Typical products printed with letterpress printing processes include business cards. Also. embossing and hot-leaf Stamping Uses of letterpress in creating artwork Creating files for Letterpress is similar to conventional printing with these exceptions: y y y y y y y Ink Color: Files are created using spot colors. imprinting. Inks are translucent and the paper color will show through. Typically one or two colors are used. Paper Color: Dark ink on a light paper gives the best image. not CMYK or RGB. There are three methods of letterpress printing: rotary. A second color should be used instead of screening a color in most cases. An outline stroke is often applied to allow for ink gain. Registration: Letterpress does register well. it does not have the capabilities of modern offset printing.byproducts. While Letterpress does lay down a thick film of ink. A spot color is specified for each color to be used. proofs. letterhead. solid areas do not give the appearance of depth that fine type and thin lines do. Screens: Grayscale images can be used if made with a coarse screen (85 line or less). Fonts: Type must be five points or larger for best results. To build up the color density of a specific color. announcements.
6 % .4 % 5. Envelopes: It is best to print on the flap of a ready-made envelope. Images to be embossed or die cut should be called out in a different color layer (typically magenta). A blank area should be incorporated between colors.7 % 4. the printer will typically back off on the pressure to avoid embossing the backside of the piece. Scores should be indicated with a cyan line. Crop marks should be shown as a register color.y y y y well in letterpress printing. Other areas of the ready-made envelopes can be printed but bruising may occur on the other side of the envelope. Images need to bleed (extend past the trim line). For thick cover stocks many printers use a kiss cut rather than a score. Die cut.5 % 5. Depth: The type depth is dependent on the paper.0 % 6. so vector images work well.4 % 9. Comparison between different printing techniques Print Technology 2000 2009 Lithography Gravure Screen Flexography Quick Printing Letterpress Digital 47 % 19 % 3% 17 % N/A 11 % N/A 68. Any intricate shapes or patterns should be reviewed with the printer. Image and File Prep: Letterpress excels at line copy and type. Black and very dark colors may be overprinted over lighter colors. Emboss and Scores: These effects work well with most Letterpress paper.5 % 0. Typically Letterpress papers are thick and soft to allow the type to create a deep impression. When fold-over items are created.