Are you looking for a new way to elevate your holiday card this year? Create customized letterpress holiday cards to take a step up from last year's send. Letterpress holiday cards come in two kinds of thick cotton paper so that they can be easily propped up by your friends and family. You can see and feel the unique, imprinted quality that the letterpress process leaves on a card. The combination of historic techniques with Minted’s freshly sourced designs will provide you with your best Christmas card yet.
History of Letterpress
Despite the modern craze around letterpress stationery products, letterpressing has actually been around for hundreds of years. The beginning of letterpress began in the fifteenth century with an idea by Johannes Gutenberg. Gutenberg was a German innovator with a history in blacksmithing. He noticed that the printing methods of his time were tedious, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. Additionally, he was unsatisfied with the fact that this made printing (and therefore books) rare and expensive. Gutenberg had the ambition to utilize his blacksmithing knowledge to build something that would improve printing methods so books could be accessible to everyone.
First, Gutenberg created stamp-like objects of individual letters. Originally he made them out of wood, but over time he switched to metal. These objects are called movable type. The movable type would be placed inside a tight wooden frame. They could be arranged and rearranged in any order to form any words, phrases, or sentences.
Once organized, the movable type letters in the frame were lightly inked. The entire frame was then placed inside the printing press that Gutenberg invented. Out of all of his inventions, Gutenberg’s press is the most famous, since it became the predecessor of modern printers. Next, with a hand crank, paper would go through the press. Paper was compressed into the inked movable type and left with an inked impression. This became known as letterpress printing, letterpressing, or relief printing.
Modern-day letterpress printing is still very similar to the techniques that Gutenberg used. However, photopolymer plates are used instead of individual movable type letters in wooden frames. Photopolymer plates are made from designs on a computer, so they can have any font, shape, or pattern. Like Gutenberg’s technique, these photopolymer plates are inked and put into a press. Depending on the kind of press, the paper is either fed through or individually stamped. Either way, it results in the same letterpress product. In the present day, exceptionally thick paper is used so that the imprint of the design is more significant. These tactile impressions are what makes letterpress products so sought-after today. Additionally, the work-intensive process that goes into letterpressing means that paramount care and dedication goes into each sheet of letterpress paper.
Why Choose Letterpress For Your Holiday Cards?
We know that a product can’t be perfect unless all of its components are of the highest quality. Minted’s luxe paper for letterpressing is made out of 100% cotton and has a soft, creamy texture that you’ll love to feel. We use superbly rich ink to produce brilliantly elegant colors. In addition, we use a historic Heidelberg press with 21st-century photopolymer plates to generate flawless letterpress designs every time. For that reason, our exclusive letterpress cards are perfect for anyone looking for ultra-luxury in their holiday or Christmas cards.
Further, letterpress printing has an interesting, centuries-old history. Present-day letterpress products are the result of this history meshing with modern technology and advancements. If you love history, you will love holding a beautiful letterpress holiday card in your hand and feeling its narrative as you run your fingers over its stamped designs.
What’s more, modern methods make it possible to perform letterpress printing and regular printing on the same sheet of paper. You can have elegant letterpress elements alongside non-letterpress photos, text, or other designs. This creates different levels of depth, raising the intrigue of letterpress holiday cards.
Since our letterpress Christmas cards are made from photopolymer plates, designs are fixed so that photos and customized text boxes can’t be moved. But do not worry — our letterpress cards have a large variety of customizable features that you can experiment with until your personalized card is exactly the way you want it.
Paper: Our letterpress holiday cards come in two paper options: 100% Cotton and Premium 100% Cotton. Our 100% Cotton paper is designed specifically for letterpress stationery so that you can feel the deep impressions from the Heidelberg press. It has a 20 point thickness and is made in the USA. Our Premium 100% Cotton paper is twice as thick with a 40 point thickness and is made in the UK. Its bright white color allows for vibrant impressions from our letterpress ink. No matter which paper you choose, both have a delicate and rich cottony texture and will foreground exquisite letterpress designs.
Colors: Letterpress Christmas cards may have one or more letterpress elements. If your style is Simple & Minimalist or Classic & Elegant, cards with single letterpress elements are great because they’re both luxurious and refined. Thinking back to the printing process, a single photopolymer plate creates a single design and can only be inked with one color at a time. So, any letterpress print with two colors had to go through this process twice. It requires two rounds of printing with two different plates that were inked in two different colors. This goes to show the meticulous attention that goes into making each individual card. Therefore, if you choose a letterpress holiday card with letterpress elements in two or more colors, it will be especially unique.
Photo vs. Non-photo: Minted offers festive letterpress cards with and without photos. Our non-photo letterpress holiday cards are designed by independent artists. They are elevated and unique, and feel more personalized than generic non-photo Christmas cards. On the other hand, our photo letterpress holiday cards can feature any picture you want from a family photo to a photo of your pets. These are a great option to make your photo Christmas card stand out from the rest.
Orientation: We have card options in both landscape and portrait options. Choose which orientation you like best or matches with a favorite photo you wish to showcase.
Style: Our letterpress cards can be categorized into seven different styles so that you can easily search for cards that will match your aesthetic.
Simple & Minimalist: Just a touch of a letterpress element takes Simple & Minimalist Christmas cards to a new level without going over the top. Even something as understated as the word “Merry” in letterpress can carry a card a long way.
Modern & Edgy: Letterpress can greatly accentuate an organic design. Keep your Christmas cards fresh and modern with a letterpress touch.
Classic & Elegant: You don’t have to sacrifice the simple and formal elegance of a classic Christmas card when experimenting with different printing types. Elevate a traditional holiday card with some beautiful letterpress letters.
Vintage: Who says old-fashioned designs can’t be mixed with modern printing methods? Put a spotlight on a vintage design when it’s letterpressed around your family photo.
Bold & Typographical: Letterpress is a perfect way to accent bold features or bold lettering. Call attention to the theme of your card when you choose a Bold & Typographical letterpress holiday card.
Botanical: There are many natural elements associated with the holiday season — wreaths, holly, Christmas trees, and mistletoe. Sometimes we forget these plants exist until November and December roll around! Emphasize these festive botanicals this year with a Botanical letterpress holiday card.
Funny: Funny letterpress Christmas cards are perfect for families with one or more young children. These lively and fun-loving cards are sure to bring smiles to all of your friends and family!
At Minted, we are dedicated to delivering you with nothing less than 100% satisfaction. Because of that, we offer free unlimited proofs of your letterpress holiday cards. Tweak your card until it’s perfect, so that you can send out holiday cards you’re proud of.