Letterpress printing is a system of relief type printing. In addition, a printing press is almost always used in this process. Essentially various copies can be produced by using a direct impression of an ink raised surface. Also during this process movable type must be locked securely into the pres.
Some letterpress systems do use a movable hot metal typesetting. Letterpress was first developed back in the 15th century. Letterpress Printing was used up until the 20th century. When things became more modernized it seems press printing was soon replaced by something called offset printing.
Offset printing is primarily used when printing book as well as newspaper articles. Letter press printing started to fall out of favor in the early 1980's. Much of the reason letter press lost popularity was during the introduction of computers as well as new publishing print that was being utilized.
Once letter press techniques were replaced many printing companies suffered a great deal. Many printing companies actually went of business due to the introduction of more modern techniques. Letterpress will always be considered a special craft that involves work by hand. Therefore, letterpress was much more time consuming that using a modern type computer.
Several stages are involved in the letterpress system. Stages included in letterpress include composition, lock up, imposition and last but not least the actual printing. Composition was the process of when movable type was inserted. Inserting the movable type was the most important part of the whole letterpress process.
Rotary letterpress is still used today for certain applications. Mainly rotary press is used to produce self-stick as well as non-stick labels. Non stick labels normally have a dried type glue on the reverse side. The glue side of the label must be moistened usually by adding water in order for the label to stick correctly.