Progression of a Print, or “How Many Times Did You Have to Print That?”

June, 2018

Letterpress printing can be a very time-consuming activity, requiring an enormous amount of patience—if not fortitude and stick-to-it-iveness. Each color on a print is printed one color at a time, slowly, methodically and patiently by hand using a letterpress. For that matter, just because there is one particular color on a print does not mean that that represents only one time through the press. For example, the other day I was printing a passage that required seven “k’s”—yet I only had one physical letter “k” in that typeface. Undaunted, I needed to print what represents one color on the finished print—seven times through the press. It is in that spirit that we present to you some examples of the progressions of a print—or how a print was built. Enjoy; and more to follow in time.

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