When did letterpress printing started?
China – The Asian Contribution
Printing, a most important invention in human history was invented by the Chinese. This was relief printing: the spaces around an image on a flat surface are cut away; the remaining raised surface is inked; and a sheet of paper is placed over the surface and rubbed to transfer the inked image to the paper. The use of engraved seals to make identification imprints evolved into printing.
A History of Graphic Design: Second Edition, Phillips B. Meggs, 1992, p24
Example of engraved seals:
Picture of Chinese relief printing tomb sculpture dated back in (618-907 A.D)
– Diamond Sutra
Photo taken from:
A History of Graphic Design: Second Edition, Phillips B. Meggs, 1992, p25
The printing frame above was craft in reversed, so that whenever the frame is imprinted on a paper it would look upright. Below is the result of reversed crafting.
Letterpress blocks – reversed
Letterpress imprinted – upright