Letterpress is the old fashioned way of laying type, letter by letter into a frame. For a long time, it was the only way to create large print runs of newspapers, books and such. Nowadays, everything is set digitally and letterpress has become an art of the tradesman. Happily, I came into the design world post letterpress - it makes life much easier. Still, there's no look quite like a hand-set letterpress piece, so I was eager to learn more about it.
Steve McDonald is the head of the print studios and he showed us through the process. First, we learned about the tools of the trade:
We placed in our leading - the space between the lines, which is literally a piece of lead - hence that term. (There are so many phrases we use that come from letterpress!)
This time, it was just very cool to go through the whole process and see our results - very exciting! Next time, I'll tell you about the wood block letters we used!