Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Letterpress with an Adana table top press

Starting out with an Adana table top press may not seem like the most appropriate letterpress machine for a greeting card business. They are simple, and small, therefore limiting the size of the graphics you can print. They rely on the strength and stamina of the operator to push down on a leaver to print, making a print run in the hundreds challenging work! And, regardless of the strength of the operator, achieving a deep impression on one of these machines can be a little bit tricky.

Given these restrictions, I imagine most people would disregard this type of press and head straight for the 1 tonne cast iron beast that can do it all. I know I felt this way, but to have disregarded this press, especially when new to letterpress printing, would have been a mistake. As with most things that come in small packages, there is so much more than meets the eye!

From the very first moment we used our table top press, I can honestly say that it has been a truly humbling and rewarding experience for our greeting card business. Print runs have been trouble free, happy and productive, none of which I was expecting after all the research I had done online. This has allowed me to carry on designing cards and growing our range, whilst learning the craft of letterpress but without any of the problems or expenses. Our machine's not temperamental, its easy and quick to clean, it's not cumbersome, cheap to run, spare parts and equipment required are so very few, it's cute, but most importantly - it prints beautifully! And with the right 'type' of artwork (fine lines) we do achieve quite a nice impression! We use an aluminium base, plastic-backed plates, and rubber based inks - all a breeze to work with.

At first I was obsessed with the 'deep impression' aspect but since using my table top I've realised that there is so much more to letterpress as a craft than this feature. And although a deep impression is beautiful, and it is what attracts people to letterpress goods, it isn't the most important aspect for me right now. The 'kiss effect' is equally as beautiful.

I'm sure that in the future we will eventually invest in something like a C&P but for the time being nothing would suit The Little Paper House Press more than our Adana table top. For now we are happy refining our own method of mixing inks and colour matching, experimenting with different papers, grades and number of colours, and focusing on new designs and illustrations, whilst balancing all the other aspects of running a small business, like keeping on top of our broadcasting via social media, finding new stockists, and staying on top of all the paper work involved. :)

Adana 5x3 table top press.

The Little Paper House Press gift tags.

The Little Paper House Press gift tags drying. Images property of LPHP.

1 comment:

  1. hello, i'm stephen from england.i bought a 5 x 3 at the young age of 14...when my kids were growing up i sold all my equipment.....2 lovelly type cabinets with a real gem of varoius typefaces.
    i visited malta 3 years ago and saw, in an elderley mas rubber stamp shop an 8x5 adana. i decided i'd like another 5x3 so bought one, even managing to get back one of my original type cabinets[alas empty] one much uses letterpress now and certainley no one local,once retired i may dabble.loverly to see your site.take care and anyone in the uk reading this please feel free to make contact.


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