What is a letterpress?

A letterpress print is created using an inked, raised ‘bed’ against which the paper is directly pressed. This is a traditional relief printing technique.

Up until the development of lithography in the 18th century, letterpress was the most frequently used form of printing and dates back to the mid-15th century. It was most famously used to create to Gutenberg Bible, which marked the beginning of the age of the printed book in the West. More recently, examples of contemporary letterpress printing can be seen in artworks such as Richard Tuttle’s One Voice in Four Parts, 1999, as well as Daniel Richter’s Untitled, 2007-1

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Glossary of prints and editions