Printed Type

Author: Reporter, Development, Projects, Reporter, Visual Research

Using Letterpress with My Text

Seeing that I had now directed my focus on using the collection of postcards as my point of development and inspiration, I thought to experiment with typography on the other end of the spectrum away from hand rendered type, using more structured type thus using the letterpress facilities was perfectly suited for that particular exploration.

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First Experiment

Initially I had to remind myself of how to use the facilities because I hadn’t used them in a while so in order to find my way around and with technician Kim’s help, I worked my way around the space selecting wooden type then arranging and securing it with furniture so it stayed in place when put through the press. I also reminded myself of small technicalities such as arranging the letters to the words spelt backwards and making sure I placed all letters the correct way around.

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Selecting type

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Securing type in place with furniture and magnets

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Inking letters with ink

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Final Printed outcome

Further Development

After grasping the process, I decided to push my experimentation and play around with colours, words, typeface, composition and paper stock.

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‘box upon box’ was my favourite composition because I skewed the arrangement of the letters to resemble the way boxes are stacked on top of each other. It was my way of being playful and seeing type as image.

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Printed outcome

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Printing on top of photocopies of my distorted hand type

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Printing on textured paper that affected the final print

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Printing on photocopies of my distorted type.

Next Steps

It was somewhat difficult to try and illustrate the theme of nostalgia running through my experience of the shop merely using the blocks themselves, so I think it would be helpful if my next steps of development are cutting up the letterpress experiments to convey my idea or even try layering them with the hand drawn typography I experimented with previously.

In terms of thinking about my final outcome of a box set containing at least 6 prints, initially I thought about following on from my cabinet of curiosities exploration and having a box of curiosities, containing various different mediums and different ways of approaching the second hand shop. However, I quite liked the idea of thinking about a box metaphorically, especially as that’s what the page became to me when printing my words using the letterpress process. You become conscious of composition and grids within a square or rectangular space. Thus making me wonder why my prints can’t be bound together in some way rather than physically having a box.

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