Letterpress printing has been making an impression since 1440 when Gutenberg invented movable type. Letterpress printing creates a tactile and inviting debossment in paper by using a mechanical press to prints from metal or wood type. This “punch” makes letterpress a popular choice for greeting cards, business cards, invitations, broadsides, and a wide range of printed ephemera. While it began as a commercial process, artists, designers, typographers and illustrators are continually finding new ways to approach the art form.
Letterpress: Movable Type + Polymer Plates introduces both traditional handset type AND polymer plates. Polymer plates allow artists to print from digital designs (illustrations, text, and even photographs) and can be made in house or ordered online.
Students will develop foundational skills by using a composing stick to hand set lines of types. From there, projects will introduce more technical considerations as well as creative approaches to printing. Students will learn to learn to lock-up type, prepare digital files for print, create polymer plates, set pressure, mix and modify ink and (maybe most importantly) safely operate our machines.
Throughout the class students will acquire the technical skills to be authorized to print independently at Spudnik Press and the creative skills to produce inventive and alluring prints for years to come.