Letterpress printing was a dying art in the 1980s and nearly dead in the 1990s. Technology has revived it. You can now design on a computer, print out a plastic plate, and use 500-year-old technology that reconnects you to the mess and smell of ink, paper, binding, and industrial-age machines. Letterpress is messy, each print is unique, and it’s the antidote and complement to the perfection-with-abstraction of the Web, ebooks, and the rest. People crave real connection that the screen doesn’t provide. Letterpress puts you right up to the metal and pushes.
Glenn Fleishman is a technology journalist that writes about where technology crosses with people’s lives, as well as exhaustive technology explanations. You can find him every week under the initials G.F. at the Economist’s Babbage blog; at TidBITS, a Mac publication for which he’s an editor and programs the backend; and at Macworld, where he’s a senior contributor. He’s also a freelance columnist for The Seattle Times, and contributes regularly to Ars Technica.