Posts Categorized: Letterpress

DIY Letterpress Coasters (Dec 2017)

DIY Letterpress Coasters is an opportunity for people new to letterpress printing to experiment with the art form and experience the satisfaction of pressing ink to paper. A coaster is the perfect foundation for printers to play with the art form. Students will get to make their own mixed and matched coasters featuring the debossed “punch” that makes letterpress printing so popular.

Students can make coasters from variety of “type high” blocks: wood type to produce abstract shapes and textures, antique borders to create decorative patterns, and various contemporary designs by local artists cast as magnesium plates. Students can make a dozen unique coasters, or settle on a favorite look to create matching sets. Spudnik Press will provide the option of beginning with coasters made from thick cotton paper stock or cork. Students simply need to come to class ready to sift through type cases and dabble in the centuries old process of letterpress printing.

Letterpress I: Wood & Metal Type

Letterpress printing has been making quite an impression since about 1440 when Gutenberg invented movable type. A mechanical press prints from metal or wood type to crisply transfer ink to paper. Letterpress printing creates a tactile and inviting debossment in the paper. This “punch” makes this art form a popular choice for greeting cards, business cards, invitations, broadsides, and a wide range of printed ephemera.

While letterpress printing began as a commercial process, today artists, designers, typographers and illustrators are continually finding new ways to approach the art form. Letterpress I: Wood & Metal Type uses a range of projects to familiarize students with letterpress printing, typography and the history of the art form. Spudnik Press Cooperative houses over 120 drawers of type, two Vandercook presses, a Line-o-scribe proofing press, and three platen presses, all of which are available for students to use.

Students will jump in browsing Spudnik’s unique collection of type and using a composing stick to hand set lines of type. From there, projects will increase in scope to introduce more advanced planning, technical considerations and creative approaches to printing. Students will learn new fun vocabulary words like reglets, quoins, chases, and leading. In addition to setting type, students will learn the mechanics of our presses and learn to lock-up type, set pressure, mix and modify ink and safely operate the 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.

DIY Letterpress Coasters

DIY Letterpress Coasters is an opportunity for people new to letterpress printing to experiment with the art form and experience the satisfaction of pressing ink to paper. A coaster is the perfect foundation for printers to play with the art form. Students will get to make their own mixed and matched coasters featuring the debossed “punch” that makes letterpress printing so popular.

Students can make coasters from variety of “type high” blocks: wood type to produce abstract shapes and textures, antique borders to create decorative patterns, and various contemporary designs by local artists cast as magnesium plates. Students can make a dozen unique coasters, or settle on a favorite look to create matching sets. Spudnik Press will provide the option of beginning with coasters made from thick cotton paper stock or cork. Students simply need to come to class ready to sift through type cases and dabble in the centuries old process of letterpress printing.

Pre-Press Workshop: File Prep for Stress Free Printing

Not everyone needs to be a digital expert. With that said, there are many benefits of understanding how Adobe creative suite can be used to ensure successful printing. Our one-day workshop will arm even the most “non­techy” person with digital arsenal of skills needed to prepare their drawings, photographs, and designs into a press-ready file for screenprinting, letterpress printing or risography.

For example, students will better understand color modes and when to use each of them (CMYK, Greyscale, Bitmap and Duotone). Students will learn tricks for separating an image into multiple layers and adjusting contrast, levels and curves to create high-contrast black and white images from scanned drawings. Students will learn how to add trapping to their artwork and how to create an on-screen approximation of what their artwork might look like as ink on paper.

Through hands-on file editing, students will practice using a variety of tools to help plan and visualize multilayer prints and create crisp darkroom-ready stencils. The class will focus on Photoshop, but address when and how to use Illustrator and InDesign.

Students will use their own computers with Adobe Creative Suite*. This workshop focuses on digital pre-press file editing. Students will not be creating prints during the workshop.

*Please email staff prior to registering if you do not have a laptop with creative suite. A limited number of students may be able to use onsite computers.