Letterpress I: Wood & Metal Type

Letterpress printing uses moveable type, cast from metal or carved from wood, and a mechanical press to crisply transfer ink to paper. This class uses multiple projects to familiarize students with basic letterpress and typography history, terminology, and practices. The class will begin with hand setting linear type to make business cards, note cards, stationary, etc. Students will then continue to use both independent and collaborative projects to acquire the technical skills needed to safely use a variety of presses, including setting type, distributing type, inking the press, color matching, adjusting pressure, registering paper, making an impression and cleaning the press.

We extended our introductory letterpress class to 12 weeks. This format will allow students the time they need to plan and execute more intricate projects. Because this is a long commitment, we have designed the class to allow for occasional planned absences. Students will sign up for time slots to use the presses, spending time between print sessions setting type, mixing ink, distributing type, and otherwise falling in love with the time-honored art of letterpress printing.