Letterpress printing is one of the earliest printing techniques used. Its basic operation is a mold or template is pressed into the paper thus creating a slightly elevated finish. As technology advances, the printing shops and companies using letterpress printing machines become far fewer over the decades. As of today, only a small portion of printing shops have letterpress machines while most are using digital printers. Nonetheless, letterpress printing still evolved over time. There are still letterpress machines which try to overcome the challenges of its predecessors. And when it comes to the available letterpress printing machines, there are three major types of letterpress printing machines developed. These are antique platen-type letterpress, flat-bed cylinder letterpress and rotary letterpress printing machines.
Here are some details regarding these types of letterpress printing machines.
- Antique Platen-like Letterpress Printer – Just like its name, it is the first type of letterpress printing machine produced commercially. This letterpress printing machine was mass produced during the 1800s and become the foundation of stationeries used by royalties and wealthy individuals for invitation cards and official letters. It is rarely used nowadays and its production has been long stopped by the printing industry. This letterpress printing machine consists of a letterpress bed and a platen. A platen is a smooth surface to support the paper when the letterpress bed is pressed into the paper. This letterpress printing machine is a lot slower compared to the other two letterpress machines.
- Flat-bed Cylinder Letterpress Printer – After the platen-like letterpress printer, the flat-bed cylinder letterpress printer followed and became available in the market. It is faster than a previous letterpress printer and uses a bed and a plate to operate. Though there are still several printing shops which uses such printing machine, its production was also stopped for some time now.
- Rotary Letterpress Printer – Rotary letterpress printing machine is the latest letterpress printer available in the market. It is far more efficient and faster than the previous letterpress printers. The other term for rotary letterpress printer is web-fed rotary printer. The earlier rotary printer are sheet-fed rotary printers which are obsolete and replaced by newer rotary printers. The quality of the printouts it can produce is higher than other letterpress printing machines. Another major advantage of rotary letterpress printer is its ability to print multiple copies at the same time. This type of letterpress printer is the most common and widely-used by printing shops and stationery companies.
If you are planning to engage in letterpress printing business, it is better to purchase the newer rotary letterpress models to make your business operation efficient.