Yes, letterpress is THE print style of the moment but I’ve always had a soft spot for traditional engraving (and you can read all about my
obsession fascination in my notes from Paris).
The printing process is the opposite of letterpress. Instead of ink and plates being pressed down into the paper, engraving creates a finished design that is slightly raised on the paper’s surface. It’s an art that requires a design to be cut or etched into a metal plate. The finished plate is covered in ink and then the ink is removed from all of the un-etched portions of the plate. The plate is then pressed into paper under high pressure.
Due to the cost of the process and expertise required, not many people choose engraving anymore. But Neenah Papers has a new website that romantizes this extraordinary print method. The Beauty of Engraving features a gorgeous video by I Do Films showing the care that goes into creating an engraved piece of stationery.
While it can be done with flat printing, engraving really is the only proper way to do light text on dark paper.
Usually used for only the most formal wedding stationery, maybe this new campaign will finally give letterpress some fine printing competition.