Digital meets handmade
Despite the incredible advances in technology, fine crafts like typesetting and letterpress still hold a certain aesthetic appeal. However, because of technology, we can create digital designs that are output to polymer plates and print them in a similar process, using a type-high (0.918") form to create a relief print. This relief process is what gives letterpress printed pieces their tactile quality, an element not replicable through offset printing.
For your final project, we will be using the New York based companyBoxcar Press to make polymer plates which we will use to create prints on a Vandercook press. As with any craft, understanding and being sensitive to the process is integral to the success of the final piece. Not only should you understand the technical aspects of the process, but also consider the strengths (and weaknesses!) of the technology when conceptualizing your piece.
The main focus of this unit is rapid production– of sketches, plates, and prints! So get started familiarizing yourself with the process and technology and immerse yourself in the art of letterpress and polymer plate printing! Check out the following resources and find some inspiration and information on your own:
VideosPrinting with polymer plate
Inking a Vandercook press
Twin Cities letterpress companiesLunalux – http://www.lunalux.com/
The Indulgence Press – http://www.indulgencepress.com
Studio on Fire – http://www. studioonfire.com
Blinc Publishing – http://www.blincpublishing.com