Letterpress en Español

kco's picture

Does some one that speaks spainsh know how letterpress is called in Spanish? I want to do some research on letterpress printers in my hometown but no one has been able to tell me what is called or how to look for it? can any budy help me? I'm from Guadalajara, Jalisco. Mexico to be exact and if you know of a printer there even better...



hrant's picture

I skimmed Jorge de Buen's "Manual de Diseño Editorial" (2000) a bit but couldn't find anything. I suspect you could use the term "letterpress" and anybody who would know what that is would know the English term too. But you might contact Jorge directly - he's highly approachable; he teaches at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Tijuana. I'm sure he can help you find letterpress printers too.

Another thing you could do is ask old-timers at newspapers that have been around for a while (like at least a few decades) - they're likely to have good leads for you.


Ignacio's picture

Hola Javier, I believe that the name is "Imprenta de Tipografía" or "Imprenta Tipográfica". The problem I see is that this name in the present time is too general, too common becouse of the word "Tipografia".

De todas formas intentalo tambien con estos nombres:
Imprenta de Tipos Móviles
Imprenta de Caracteres Móviles
Imprenta de Tipos de Caja

Buena suerte.

kco's picture

Thanks for the replys guys. I''ll look into both of those sources.
Gracias Ignacio, espero encontrar algo!


hrant's picture

> Imprenta de Tipos Móviles

I saw that in Jorge book, but it can't work, because letterpress isn't necessarily done with movable type. Especially now with photopolymer printing.


kco's picture

Yeah I know I somebody told me about that term "Imprenta de Tipos Móviles" and the ones Ignacio posted but I didn't though it was it. Now that you both have said it I think I sould just go with it. I guess even though its not movable type anymore the name just got stuck...

I also tried looking into the yellow pages from my town and I couldn't find any printer relevant to that "term"...maybe it died there or the name is just mistaken...

Thanks again

kco's picture

Another friend tole me it's also called "grabado en ciego" or "impresión en ciego" has anybody heard this? I'm confused now thanks


kco's picture

Some updates on this thread:

I have not found the final real name for letterpress in spanish but I've heard of a couple other ones besides the ones listed here:

Prensa plana: I've heard this from someone who creates custom paper for wedding invites. That's what she calls it.

Minerva, Minerva tipografica: I found this through google.

You can see some HEIDELBERG here:

they call it Minerva tipografica here:


Any updates on this? I'm waiting to get some information from someone who (from what I heard) has won a lot of awards in Mexico. I hope I can get this info and will keep you posted on this.



Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Hey, Javier, I wish I had my notes from my printing technology class with me, but they're in Buenos Aires!

I just found a couple of websites based on the updated info you posted:

Museo Virtual de la Imprenta has some info on different types of printing presses, with plenty of images.

Unos tipos duros has a Tratado de tipografia that has some helpul info too.

I've linked directly to the pages with the info, so you don't have to do any searching. :-) Good luck!

cazabache's picture


The correct terms are imprenta tipografica and prensa plana, as someone said, which correspond somewhat
to "letterpress shop" "platen press".

I have a small (very) letterpress shop in the city (D.F.), dedicated to limited editions of poetry,
while the most experienced shop I know is called Ditoria, and they have been working for almost 15 years.
They have made some 20 or 30 fine editions during that time.

There is a medium-sized shop with a large heidelberg cylindrical that prints wrestling posters
and used to do some work for bullfights, not the fancy kind of poster, mind you, in the Colonia Obrera.

Other than than that, small shops use letterpress to number invoices, and that is about it.

There is also the handpress printer Juan Pascoe in Michoacan, and there are some graphic artists
like Ehrenberg and Magali Lara who have made "artist's books", as well as Toledo. But I have not seen
examples and cannot be sure if they can be considered letterpress.

I hope this is of some use. Send me a message if I can help you out with anything.

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