No matter how fancy these newfangled print processes get, there’s always something that brings a dreamy look to the eye when seeing something printed on a letterpress. And it was to a letterpress that indie-record-producer Pete Hutchison turned for the packaging for his new label, the Electric Recording Co.
While other labels have occasionally used letterpress for their packaging, Hutchison had a special reason for doing so. He’s producing classical music album reissues from the ’50s and ’60s…exactly as the originals were made. That means recording the albums on a vinyl-cutting lathe and a valve-powered tape machine circa 1965.
That also means recreating sleeve artwork and design by printing it on a 1959 Heidelberg letterpress, complete with gold paint, silk cords and all. Type was reset in the same typeface and sizes, even down to the spacing. No scanned images were used, either. Rather, Hutchison hunted down the original ’60s photographs. The 50-page booklet for a rare Mozart box set alone took a whole year to produce. Want the finished product? It’ll cost you about $3,900.
In the meantime, you can watch part of that printing process below.