New to Letterpress

So I am a graphic designer and mainly create digital art for invitations that people can have printed…

I really want to get into letterpress invitations for weddings, etc.

Where do I begin??? Where do I look for machines? I am looking to make money by doing this, so if anyone has any information I would highly appreciate it!

Lindsay K.

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David Rose’s page is probably the best place to start:

Perhaps the biggest consideration:
The capital investment for equipment to start doing small commercial work is small (mid-high 4 figures, depending on press, type, etc.), but the time investment to acquire the skills is huge (months/years, not days/weeks).

The equipment is secondary to the skillset in importance.

There are a large number of considerations, and hopefully some of the people who have started letterpress businesses will weigh in. They know more than I, especially given that commercial work is a different ballgame (quality control, costing, larger volumes, and whatnot) than the hobby-oriented projects I do.

I’ve been poking at letterpress since 2006-7, and I’m doing my first 3 color project with some complex trapping this Spring.

Ben Franklin ran away from his 8 year printing apprenticeship after 4 years…But went on to become one of the most notable printers in our history.

Tell where you are.
There may be reasonably local printers that you can contact and work with. Some may have the equipment, but little or no artistic skills. A combination of the two skill sets might be advantageous.

Read DBurnette’s comments carefully. He is wise.

Try to take a class or intern a bit at a local shop. It is certainly possible to make money at this, but it is not a slam dunk. doing commercial printing for profit is a lot of work. I think it is common for designers to notice the high cost of letterpress printing and think “oh i’ll just get a press and do it myself”, but it is worth getting some time in a shop before you start buying equipment and learning the hard way. Get some basics on someone else’s time and equipment .You may discover that you don’t care for working as a printer, and it can take quite a while before you will have enough practical experience under you belt to be selling your services as a printer. You may, on the other hand, find that you love it as a process, as many of us do.
Try to get your hands dirty, and see where that goes.
Good luck

Read DBurnetteā€™s comments carefully. He is wise.

Hehe. Wise is an overstatement…More like remembering some foolish past business decisions, though that was in the music industry.