Tuesday, February 9, 2010

:: letterpress play ::

about a month after emily was born, after my first week home by myself with the two kids, brian gave me a gift:

no, not a letterpress, although wouldn't that be cool? he gave me a letterpress class. his good friend from high school co-owns dock2letterpress here in rochester.

the class taught me a few things:

(a) letterpress prints are as cool as i always thought they were
(b) letterpress printing, on the other hand, is far less mysterious and esoteric than i imagined, even on century-old presses.
(c) it's a lot lot harder setting wood and lead type than it is to play with, manipulate, and arrange type digitally. i'm so used to being able to adjust leading, kerning, justification, type size, etc. with the click of my mouse. figuring out how to align and arrange my type, and how to keep it from falling apart when i lifted it up to take it to the press, was far more difficult.

as a result i am not all that in love with my first-ever hand-typeset design, but i'm thrilled with the prints themselves.

the best thing is that now, since i've taken the class, i can rent time on the presses in the future for my own projects. you can bet you'll be seeing some letterpress items coming to my shop in the next year or so. if i'm not paralyzed by trying to decide what to make first, that is.


Shannon February 9, 2010 at 12:04 PM  

That sounds like a very cool class! I'm sure once you are able to switch away from a digital mindset you'll come up with all kinds of great designs. :)

Amanda February 9, 2010 at 12:24 PM  

Nicely done!! I'm loving all your G's! I'm just working on an L (made of L's) at the moment on the vandercook... I love this letterpress thing! Looks like you do too.

LLH Designs February 9, 2010 at 10:27 PM  

We sound like peas in a pod. I just found you in the craziest, maze-iest kind of way (you know how that goes once you start clicking on links!) and am so glad I did! I've bookmarked your blog and look forward to following along when I'm not doing what you're doing...designing, blogging, mommying...and oh, yes, very important...trying to love my husband well. :)

nole @ oh so beautiful paper February 10, 2010 at 1:23 PM  

I know exactly what you mean! Even with a photo polymer plate and boxcar base, the process is a lot harder than I had expected. I have a tabletop Kelsey at home, and am still trying to figure out the right combination of pressure/packing to get the print to press the paper evenly. Gives me so much more respect for the folks who already do it so well!

Anonymous February 11, 2010 at 4:46 PM  

what a sweet gift! I'm glad you were able to try something new and experience a different aspect of design :)