The process once used for printing everything from literature to newspapers is now used for printing as an art form and craft. The type high object in the bed of the press — whether it's type, linoleum, wood block, or photopolymer plate — is impressed into and becomes part of the paper on which it's printed. The possibilities of words combined with images are endless. Different types of letterpress printers include fine press printers, (traditional books and poetry chapbooks), job printers (invitations, announcements) and book artists (books and flat art pieces, combined with other art and printing processes). Crooked Letter Press produces letterpress books in the realm of book arts, with a focus on high craft and quality printing in the tradition of fine press printing.
Setting metal or wood type by hand is the way type was set before the advent of photographic reproduction or computers. Type comes in a variety of typeface styles and sizes. In a font of type, each letter of the alphabet, (plus other characters, figures, & ligatures) is set on top of a piece of metal of a specific height (.918", or type high.) The letters are selected from the type drawer, one by one, and set side by side to form words and sentences. Spacing material sized shorter than the type is placed between words for wordspacing, and pieces of leading are placed beneath each finished line of set type for line spacing. The lines must be set firmly in the composing stick so they can be removed without falling apart, tied together into a form, and moved into the bed of the press for letterpress printing.
Using a Pantone mixing guide, any ink color can be mixed from a standard collection of basic ink colors — either rubber-based or oil-based ink.