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June 2, 2011 / Natalie G.

Letterpressed

I’m a horrible blogger. I know. I probably don’t even fit the qualifications for a blogger – I have a blog but I don’t use it.  I find it very hard to motivate myself to sit down and write and I don’t quite know why.  Perhaps it is because I never know what to write about because there isn’t a cohesive theme to this blog other than “Things I Like” which is kind of lame…er unfocused.  I had a food blog at one point and although it was fun it was nearly impossible to keep up because I wasn’t baking/cooking regularly and I never took pictures that I liked and typing recipes was exhausting blah blah blah.  But seeing as I am between projects right now I really want to try and devote a little bit of time every day to blogging.  So, onward to something I love: Letterpress anything.

A few weeks ago I took a letterpress workshop at Pasadena Art Center’s wonderful Archetype Press. I booked the class months ago and I couldn’t have been more excited. Seriously, first day of school excited. It was glorious. I learned all about wooden type and metal type. We printed a poster as a class using the word of the day “Rapture” (seeing as the class took place on the 21st of May, Rapture day) and learned how to set type.

When it came time to start developing and setting our own projects I couldn’t come up with an idea that I liked and I started to get frustrated because I knew that this could be the only opportunity I would have to letterpress for a while.  On the drive home I was thinking that it might be interesting to do a card that was useful for more than one occasion – an idea that developed into an incredibly complicated design using four different fonts, ornaments and two different type sizes. Go big or go home I suppose…

Once everything was set and double checked it was time to print. I chose a press that already had a nice aqua ink on the rollers and loaded my paper. The first time you print something that you have designed is amazing. It was so incredible I still get excited thinking about it. I’m very proud of my card  and I can’t wait to take another class. I now truly have an appreciation for letterpress artists – it is an extremely time consuming and labor intensive process. The result is well worth it but I can understand why letterpress card are $5 – each card is handmade and so much work goes into each one. With that said I encourage you to support your local letterpress artists and buy their cards!

Also: if anyone knows where I can get a press and drawers full of type for a reasonable price in Southern California, please let me know.

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