Buying Type

Can anyone tell me if letterpress type is the same as hot stamping type? I just want to make sure there are no height differences since I’m looking at buying some new fonts.
Thank you.

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I have some 18 point News Gothic brass type for hot stamping for sale if you’re looking for some. It’s type high and a pretty large amount of upper case with a limited single font of lower case.


As previously posted, standard letterpress type will work but will eventually wear out due to the heat (and with this being a letterpress community you will not find much support for destructive practices of irreplaceable type).

Brass is best, but hard to find and initial investment can be expensive.

Zinc is next & Kingsley type was made for hot stamping (NA Graphics has some listed on their site).

As for type being produced and sold today:
Check out the other thread going on right now; there is relevant information and a post from Sky Shipley of the Skyline foundry stating that their type withstood 1,200 impressions. Dale Guild Foundry type is hard foundry type and they approve it for hot stamping in statements on their website. Buying from these sources could help ensure type availability in the future.

I am not sure what kind of metal is in the type being offered from the producers of the hot stamp machines (like Howard and gold magic).

Georg Kraus from in Germany has brand new special founts available for bookbinders from the famous Stempel Foundry, who produced half founts.

Mindy’s question was as to height as well as the type being “the same”. The first question has been answered, but not the height issue. I can tell you that the height is generally standard .918” on stamping type as well as printing type (in the US).

Many hot stampers utilize magnesium or copper engravings for images, thus not jeopardizing typemetal fonts.

The type issued by Kingsley for their foil stamping machines is definitely lead-based, although I seem to recall that it has a higher concentration of something in it to enable it deal with being heated. Not near my reference materials right now, so maybe someone else can chime in on this point.

I was under the impression that at least the older Kingsley type was zinc-based (zamac, mazak, or pot metal) rather than lead-based, in which case it should have not lead in it at all as I understand even a bit of lead ruins the zinc alloys. Maybe the more recent Kingsley type is a hard lead alloy?