Letterpress at the kitchen table

A few years ago, I took a letterpress class at the San Francisco Center for the Book (lovely center, I recommend it to anyone in the SF Bay Area!) and that’s when I fully realized why letterpress costs the ka-ching! amount that it does. It took me nine hours on one Saturday to make one thank you card design, one envelope design with my address, and print over two hundred copies. And this wasn’t some complicated design, it had a bird and “Thank You” written on it. My eyes were basically cross-eyed by the time I got out of there, and my hands and clothes were totally filthy from playing with ink. Letterpress is labor intensive and crazy detail-oriented, and I bow down to all the masters of it!

So you can imagine my skepticism over this brand new product from QuicKutz. The examples are gorgeous, and the price is pretty decent at $150, but can something this small and affordable churn out the same quality as a Vandercook press? I don’t know myself, but I’d love to get my hands on one and play with it!

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[Examples made from the QuicKutz Letterpress Machine, available at Paper Source]

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[Buy your own letterpress machine for the kitchen table here]

Has anyone experimented with this new table top letterpress machine? What do you think of it?

10 thoughts on “Letterpress at the kitchen table

  1. There is a big discussion about this on Briarpress.

    http://www.briarpress.org/discussion/73

    I just bought my first press and plan on printing my invites on it. It cost WAY more than $150 but I’m sure the quality is better and that thing will never resell for more than what you paid for it if it doesn’t work out for you.

  2. Obviously I am very very biased seeing as though I work for a letterpress stationery company, but I can say with confidence there is no way this thing can replicate the impression and quality of true letterpress. I’ll refrain from sharing my personal not-so-pretty thoughts about this little contraption and just simply say, buyers beware. It might be fun and it might produce some cute little things, but you’ll get your money’s worth with this kind of thing. As long as one knows that going into it and doesn’t classify this as true letterpress, I think it’ll interesting to see what kind of creative things people come up with using these little things. Time shall tell! ;-)
    .-= Cyd’s most recent blog post: Ribbon Frame Dinner Menu from Sunday Suppers =-.

  3. I have the best news ever! It is in AC Moore stores right now, along with the plates, ink, everything – AND they have a coupon on their website for 50% off a single item and it totally works for the L combo! That’s a savings of $75!!! I just went to my local store and they took the coupon no problem. To get the coupon just go to AC Moore’s website, click on store locator, type in your zip, find your store, and click on coupons/sales. there is a PDF you can dowload with the coupon! It’s only good until this weekend so hurry up before they change it! (the coupon specifically states it’s not good for things like cricut so I’m sure they didn’t think about this new letterpress when they created the coupons!)

    yippee!!!!

  4. @Jen: Thanks for the tip!! That’s a great savings. This will be a good tool for couples who want to make their own invites.

    @Cyd: I agree, I don’t really expect it to have the same quality. If it did have the same quality, I’d be pretty pissed off over the 9 hours I spent making one card, and the back ache I endured after!
    But I think it might be a great way for people who want to make their own invites to do so in a fun/unique way instead of printing off of their plain jane laser printer–like a gocco!
    .-= Mo’s most recent blog post: Wedding Meltdowns =-.

  5. My big issue with this machine is the use of the term letterpress as their product name. Beyond, that it is a poorly made product that is worth far less than they are charging. Firstly, the plates that come with the “press” are apparently cracking after just a few uses. At the moment they only sell a handful of designs. You could possibly custom design polymer plates and have them made but then you would have to fiddle with the contraption a bit if the plates aren’t the same thickness. The plates they come with are super thick, about 3 times thicker than the plates I use on my press.

    Also, I was at the Paper Source this weekend and they had one sitting out with a bunch of printed samples. The quality was just awful. It looked far worse in person than any of the images that I have seen online. The impression was very shallow, the edges were not crisp at all and ink coverage was very spotty and sparse.

    But for those who just want to have fun and be crafty (minus the craftsmanship), it might be fun. Just stop calling it ‘letterpress’. ;)

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