Talking Points: What is Letterpress?


A collection of imagery and sources designed to introduce children to the process of letterpress.

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This resource is free to access and is not a part of AccessArt Membership.

ages 5-8
ages 9-11
ages 11-14
free to access


Teachers Notes

Letterpress is a relief printing technique. For hundreds of years letterpress was the only way to create reproductions of text. The invention of the letterpress in the mid 15th Century meant that information could be more accessible to the masses. Traditionally, the letters are arranged, a roll is inked and the raised surface of the letters are pressed against sheets or a continuous roll of paper. 


Take a online tour of Robert Smail’s Printing Works in Scotland. Founded in 1866 and now part of the Scottish National Trust, the tour walks you through the rooms, different jobs and the machinery used in the victorian era.

A modern day letterpress process.

BLM Collaboration with SMack by Theresa Easton

Theresa Easton, Photo-lithography, silk-screen and letterpress