Letterpress is an old-fashioned printing technique: the inks are mixed by hand, and each color is printed separately using embossed printing forms on a Heidelberg letterpress from the 1950s. The design can go deep into the paper to obtain a beautiful relief particularly highlighted by soft and thick papers, for example cotton.
Tradition and Modernity
At the time of digital printing accessible to all, this technique is today experiencing a renaissance for all documents that we want exceptional, high quality and timeless, like announcements, business cards or posters.
The letterpress printing used today is very far from that practiced in the 19th century. Where this technique was used for all the most common prints, it is now used on beautiful papers, with the highest quality inks. And if at the time an excellent printer was one capable of printing without embossing the paper, it is now this effect that is sought and requires all its know-how.
The Letterpress doesn’t belong to the past, quite the contrary: it offers you a great tradition of quality craftsmanship, combined with today’s technology: it is now possible to print any design, and not only letters of lead patiently arranged in text, thanks to the manufacturing of photopolymer plates true to the design created on computer.
The letterpress effect
The whole point of the Letterpress is this hollow left by the printing. It gives relief to the design and it is only natural to touch it. To higtlight this effect, we have selected the most beautiful papers: thick, heavy, and often 100% cotton.
The letterpress colors are incredibly deep and bright, because they are pure colors (Pantone colors). On the contrary, classic printing uses 4 basic colors (four-color printing) screened to obtain all the others, by an optical effect.
Arts and Crafts
Printing a document requires a lot of patience and know-how: the inks are mixed by hand, each color is printed separately and requires a lot of adjustments to achieve the perfect result you expect. Each copy can be very slightly different from the others, which gives it a unique character.
L’Atelier Letterpress is a French brand of refined and artisanal stationery. From design to careful production, we work every day with passion to offer you unique products of incomparable quality.
L’Atelier Letterpress was born out of the passion of two paper lovers for this incredible printing technique. When we discover letterpress in 2011, it is almost unknown in France. After acquiring our first Heidelberg press, we went to Australia and the United States for several months to train ourselves with masters in this field, then back in France we opened L’Atelier Letterpress.
After several years of offering wedding invitations and birth announcements, we decided to put an end to this activity following the lock out of 2020, and to devote ourselves exclusively to the creation of cards and art prints, always with the same attention to detail and quality.
Our eco-responsible approach
Our workshop is located in an exceptional setting, aboard a barge nestled in lush greenery south of Paris. We’re perhaps the only printshop in the world operating from a boat! We are therefore naturally very sensitive to the impact we have on the environment.
We carefully select certified and if possible recycled papers, as well as environmentally friendly manufacturing techniques and processes.
Denis, master printer
After several years working in finance, Denis threw himself into the Letterpress adventure in 2013 with Mylène. He went to train at Design College in Brisbane in Australia, then completed his training alongside a master printer in Boston. He is keen on detail who will always go further to obtain the perfect result.
Mylène, graphic designer
After studying cinema at the Ecole Louis Lumière then graphic design at the Ecole Estienne in Paris, she worked for several years for large Parisian agencies before creating with Denis L’Atelier Letterpress in 2013. She is passionate about typography, calligraphy, vintage graphics and music.