I just went to Nashville Tennessee for a wedding, and we decided while we were there we had to enjoy the Country Music capitol. So, yes we did the Country Music Hall of Fame, and RCA Studio B, where we were able to sit in the exact spot where Elvis recorded most of his music.
But there were other things in Nashville that we also had to check out. Right in the Country Music Hall of Fame they have the oldest working letterpress factory in North America. The machines are a hundred or more years old, and they still work!
Most of the people who work there are graphic designers, and their job is to not only print the jobs, but also to do the design work.
How it works is once the design is approved by the customer, the artist/technician uses various blocks of letters or images, (depending on the design) to create a plate. Once the plate is locked down and can not move, they use a roller to apply ink to the machine. The paper is then run through the machine to see if you have enough ink, or how it will come out.
There can be several colours, although one colour is printed at a time. Each colour has to be done separately, and each colour must completely dry before the next colour can be done. The ink takes 24 hours to dry. So if a job has 3 colours, it will take a minimum of 3 days just to print the work.
This is a very basic description of how it works! So watch the video of me trying to do it on one of the smallest machines they had in the factory.
Wondering what it was like?
Check out the video @ http://youtu.be/v7WGk3lXuJs