The letterpress is an effect taken from the printing world where text is machine-stamped onto the paper or card so the words are physically pressed into the surface so you can actually see and feel the indentations.
To help you visualise the effect, imagine the printing press machine letters being stamped down hard on a thick piece of paper of card, and then imagine the indentation that would be left behind. That would be a ‘letterpress’ effect.
You often see this effect in action on professional business cards, think of the scene in American Physcho where Christian Bale and his yuppie buddies are comparing their business cards and you have an example of where the letterpress is utlised in the “real” world!
In web design, the letterpress effect gives the illusion that the text has been stamped onto the web page background, which can help the text seamlessly blend in and can exude an almost tactile feel.
A quick word of caution, reserve this effect for large text such has logos or page headers, like with any effect, overuse is overkill and look tacky.
Anyway, that’s the background, so without further ado, I’m going to show you my video tutorial of how to recreate the letterpress effect seen in the image at the top of this post, using my best web design graphics tool, good ‘ol [FW_AFIL_TEXT].
Download the letterpress effect layered PNG created in this tutorial here.