1837 to 1856

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The Future of Letterpress

The letterpress was incredibly influential, from its creation to today. However, it is outdated and impractical in comparison to mechanized printers of today. In comparison to electrical printers, the letterpress is slow, labor-intensive, and unnecessary. While there is no future for the letterpress in printing books, I believe there is an emerging and niche market for works made by a letterpress.

In our day, being unique is both praised and sought after. Being different is highly valued and everybody wants to stand out in one way or another. For this reason, I feel that the letterpress is not dead—that it is, in fact, making a comeback. As we saw in class, brides are turning to the letterpress as a means of printing their wedding invitations and letterpressed greeting cards are popping up in stores. People like options and choices, and the letterpress offers many choices that traditional printing today does not. Letterpress printing will continue as a viable commercial form because it allows for the personalization and customization that today’s consumer so appreciates.

This being said, I do not expect the market for letterpress printed objects to explode. I believe that it is currently, and will remain, a niche market for consumers who are aware of the printing process, value its artistic qualities, and have the ability to pay for it.IMG_5255