Our design studio.
Sanctuary Letterpress is located inside the beautiful Flatbed Press & Gallery in Austin, Texas. We have partnered with Austin Book Arts Center to provide a space for creative people to attend workshops for letterpress printing.
Most of our printing is done on a beautiful, vintage Vandercook 4 printing press which dates back to WW2. This press was refurbished by the fabulous people at Letterpreservation who took the time to completely re-build it after reclaiming it from its previous owner. The press is now in pristine condition and can be used to print any number of different letterpress projects including wedding invitation sets, business cards or postcards. We also have two other Vandercook presses in the studio as well as a C&P.
About letterpress printing.
Letterpress was the original method of commercial printing, beginning in the 1400s and used until the mid-twentieth century. Simply put, movable letters or images are coated with ink and arranged onto the bed of a press. Paper is rolled over the objects using a set pressure, causing an impression. Today, letterpress printing has evolved and become a combination of modern technology and antiquity.
So why use letterpress today? We now live in a society that is incredibly fast paced, dominated by computers and smartphones. Handmade items have become a novelty. An item created from beautiful colors and textures creates an experience. It causes a person to stop for a moment and interact with a piece of work which could not be replicated by a computer. It is unique and special.
Letterpress projects are not easy. The design begins as a digital file using Adobe InDesign or Illustrator. Once the design file is prepared and colors are separated, a photopolymer plate is created for each color to be used. These will be the plates that are arranged onto the bed of the press. The desired color of ink is mixed by hand and the printing process begins. The best way to get started with a letterpress project is to request a quote, or meet at our studio to discuss your projects look over samples of paper options and past work.