13 years, 9 months ago
So I am sure most of us have seen the “Letter Impress” line of imprintable wedding invites at Target. Pretty gross. But I came across something on Etsy that really bothers me and I wanted to get your thoughts.There is a gal who has created a process that replicates letterpress. Basically she prints the designs out on an inkjet then has a polymer plate made, running the blank plate and printed card through a small craft embosser.While I don’t prefer it, I actually don’t mind her process. I think she is clever. However, what bothers me the most is that she uses the term ‘letterpress’ throughout her shop. She tags all her items as ‘letterpress’ and even uses the word ‘letterpress’ in her shop name. If you read her profile she does explain the process a little and that it isn’t letterpress, however if you just do a search for letterpress cards/invitations and click on her listing it is misleading. She does mention flat printing and uninked plates but for folks who don’t understand how letterpress works, they may not know this is not genuine letterpress. I guess if she didn’t tag things as letterpress and said right off the bat in each listing… ‘this is not letterpress’ then I could care less.Just wondering what you gals think about stuff like this. Does this bother you or am I just being ‘overprotective’? I just think about the physical, monetary, spacial, & time commitment I have made to my giant press. I want to excel at this craft and I guess this gal’s use of the term letterpress just rubs me the wrong way.Thoughts?
Jen StarshapedParticipant@jenstarshaped13 years, 9 months ago
I can see that being annoying as well, because I also feel like I keep striving to get better at the CRAFT of letterpress. Whenever I start to feel very irritable about things like this I try to focus on the fact that I think I’m good at what I do and that the design holds its own and that makes me feel better. Someone will always come to me for work, and someone will always go to her for her work (even if it’s ‘fake’), and I try to remember that there’s a good chance I don’t want to work with the people that prefer the cheaper, faux version.I remember when I first saw those invites at Target… I couldn’t believe it until I looked closely and realized they did a crap job of even attempting to register the print with the impression!
christieParticipant@christie113 years, 9 months ago
I remember buying some “letterpress” scrapbooking paper, and then realizing it wasn’t real. I’m sure she will have some unhappy customers who will will purchase thinking it’s really letterpress printed. It’s interesting to see what lengths she goes to imitate letterpress, and the question is why? It also seems that she knows enough to purchase photopolymer plates, wouldn’t it just be easier to save up some money and buy a press?
Kat FeuersteinParticipant@katfeuerstein13 years, 9 months ago
Is there a link you can post?13 years, 9 months ago
take out the spaces….http:// http://www.etsy.com/ shop.php?user_id= 6271302
Rachael HetzelParticipant@rachaelhetzel13 years, 9 months ago
Hmmm. I agree with your about thinking that the process is clever, but I also don’t like that it’s called letterpress. Letterpress is defined as “the process of printing from an inked raised surface especially when the paper is impressed directly upon the surface”, but I would go a step further and say that there should be an actual press involved. I think what she’s doing is actually embossing/debossing. It doesn’t look like she’s embossing the text, just the images, which make sense because her system of registration can’t be that accurate without a press.For me this issue is similar to letterpress work that is offered by non-printers and not fully disclosed. The work may actually be letterpress printed, but the designer doesn’t mention that they don’t own a press and outsourced the printing (maybe to some of us!). I don’t know why this would bother me, other than the fact that I bust my butt printing on a daily basis.13 years, 9 months ago
yeah… I contacted this gal a while ago when I first came across her shop because she didn’t explain her process. She had said she didn’t want to offend any printers and in her profile is more explicit about her practices yet when you use the term “letterpress” in your shop name and tag items as “letterpress” I feel like it is misleading. I think about someone like my mom for example, who knows the term letterpress, and knows that there is an impression in the paper (usually) but that is about it. If she decided to purchase a card from this gal, she would think she was getting an actual letterpress printed piece. While some folks may not mind the phony process some may feel duped. I was considering complaining to Etsy, just about the use of the tags but think if I am the only one who complains nothing will happen.Last year I came across a photographer who tagged all his/her photos with the term letterpress. I contacted them and asked if perhaps they maybe misunderstood the term, as when I did a search it was a ton of photos that came up… Their explanation was that if someone liked letterpress, more than likely they would also like their photos (even though there was nothing remotely connected). Very frustrating.Perhaps the days leading up to NSS have left my panties in a bunch.
Kseniya ThomasKeymaster@kseniya13 years, 9 months ago
The customer might not only feel duped, but disappointed when they see that the mixing of media in this way is not attractive. The super-deep impression next to surface-sitting ink to me is not only a no-no, but bad-looking. It ought to be called de-boss with laser, or laserbossing, or something.
allison bozemanParticipant@allisonbozeman13 years, 9 months ago
I guess I admire her moxie for finding a way around buying and learning to use a real letterpress, but even more amazing is all of the press she seems to have received. I can see both sides of the issue here, but I admit, it does ruffle my feathers a little.
Jodi McCombParticipant@jodimccomb13 years, 8 months ago
This “fake” letterpress printing really makes me angry! We all work very hard at our craft and using the word letterpress is wrong when the actual product is not letterpress printed! It’s a huge lie and the average person cannot tell the difference.A friend of mine ( not a good friend obviously) send a thank you card to me a couple weeks ago..it was a fake letterpress card from target…i was so pissed! what the heck?…what a slap in the face….you might as well have sent a bomb in the mail to me as far as i am concerned…same feeling!!..LOL!
Jodi McCombParticipant@jodimccomb13 years, 8 months ago
I just wrote Etsy about this…let’s see if they do anything…please feel free to complain along with me :0 it will certainly add to the validity of my complaint.
Caren FloranceParticipant@carenflorance13 years, 8 months ago
I think offering up a different name for the process is a really valid way to proceed. I love the idea of ‘laserboss’.At the risk of alienating a whole heap of people who use presses, I have a bit of trouble with stationery printed deeply by plate being called ‘letterpress’ because I associate letterpress with handset moveable type. But I think I’m completely outnumbered on that front, and this is the only time I’m going to mention it :)I’m actually very happy that there are people out there doing anything at all with presses, because it keeps the idea of printing alive (and allows me to redirect people who ask me about wedding invitations).
Kat BridgesParticipant@katbridges13 years, 7 months ago
I just heard of this phenomenon for the first time today, and checked her Etsy site–seems to have been updated to say things like “letterpress style” and “pressed with flat printing.” I must say, as much as it chaps my ass, quite clever!
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