Like lino or wood cut, Letterpress is also a ‘relief’ mode of printing, originally developed in the mid-15th century and used widely until the 20th century for the production of books, manuscripts and the earliest newspapers.
Individually carved or engraved typeface print blocks (often made of zinc and/or wood) are hand positioned and locked in place at the bed of a printing press and inked.
The printing material is hand-fed into the printer, and the inked printblocks leave an impression on the paper. Original letter press type is much sought after and increasingly difficult to come across, indeed Anthony Burrill’s artworks are created on a 200 year old press!
This traditional method can be merged with other mediums to fantastic effect. The New North Press’ ‘Oranges & Lemons’ edition incorporates both Letterpress and Screen Print.