Letterpress Travel Coasters
Angel Bomb Letterpress Travel Coasters

 A New Take on an Old Art

When I attended Art-a-Whirl last month, I visited the letterpress studio of Angel Bomb.

Letterpress has always fascinated me. It’s an old art dating back to the 1400s, but Angel Bomb makes it fresh and modern with their trend-forward designs.

Heidelberg Printing press
Heidelberg Printing press

You’ve likely seen letter pressed stationary before–it’s usually on a thick paper with printing that’s indented for a lush, rich feel. It’s commonly used for fancy wedding invitations or poster prints. But you likely haven’t seen letter pressing being done. I hadn’t, before I saw Angel Bomb’s two genuine Heidelberg presses which they use for all their letter pressing. These gigantic old machines automate the printing and die-cutting process.

Letterpress History

Letter pressing itself was invented by Johannes Gutenberg, the father of printing, who created the first moveable type. In the 19th century technology progressed and printing presses began to be automated. In the 1930s, the German Heidelberg Company introduced a fully automated high-speed machine and became the leader in letterpress technology. That’s the kind of machine still used by many Letterpress artists today.

Modern Letterpress Designs

After visiting Angel Bomb they were nice enough to send me some letter pressed swag. Here’s a closer look at one of my favorites, their “Wish We Were Here” postcard.

Wish we were here postcards

If you love letterpress too, let me know in the comments!

2 Comments on Pressing Matters: Modern Letterpress Art

  1. I have a love of Heidelberg presses. Maybe it’s the artists and writer in me, who knows! Thank you for sharing the pictures and the story of your adventure! Angel Bomb’s “Wish you were here” cards are so simple, but so unique and artsy – I know lots of friends who would love cards like that. Their coasters, though, are my favorite. I’d have those in my home!


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