Letterpress is the oldest form of printing. In this method, a surface with raised letters is inked and pressed to the surface of the printing substrate to reproduce an image in reverse.
Letterpress printing is extremely time consuming and labour intensive, yet still is enjoying a resurgence in popularity among modern-day enthusiasts who prize the unmistakable hand-made qualities and historical nature of letterpress print. Letterpress printing retains its place as a craft ideally suited to producing beautiful things in small quantities.
An incredible amount of skill is required to print to a reasonable standard. When letterpress was the main player in commercial printing, there were specialists who lined up the type, compositors, and machine room staff that operated the presses. An apprenticeship took 6 years.
These days letterpress is usually done by one person working alone and they will have had to learn all the disciplines involved. Letterpress has variations from piece to piece because of the manual nature of letterpress printing.