Tuesday, August 30, 2011


And then the things themselves. We letterpress printed the covers from photopolymer plates (as shown in the post below), and digitally printed the pages. We chose the typeface Georgia because it is a text face designed for the screen that still looks great in print. The books were pamphlet stitched by the students. Somewhere around 60 copies were made—3 for each student plus extras for the archives. Below are some images of the book and of the broadside.

The Press at CC is primarily a letterpress studio, so we definitely try to have some letterpress component in every project that we do. That being said, the focus of the class projects isn’t always on letterpress printing in and of itself (though it can be within the contexts of certain classes), but is on the production and distribution of the written/printed word and the graphic image. The point is to demonstrate the contingent, historical, and constructed nature of the printed word, and to give students the tools, through their own intimate experience with hands-on production, to critically evaluate that nature. Letterpress printing happens to be one of the best ways to connect language, the mind, the eye, and the body. It is possible that the continuing interest in the medium is (partly) because of the connections that it fosters, and the kinds of thinking that it allows.

Letterpress printing is not just a tradition to be preserved—it is a still vital medium with a living, growing history that gets richer every day.

This Twiction project is a prime example of how the things we do at The Press connect to the larger world, of how an “obsolete” medium, precisely because of its lack of transparency, can allow for direct and hands-on engagement, both with the internal aspects of a text and its external life in the world.

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