Letterpress is such a wonderful art and we are so excited it’s seen a revival in the past 10 years. We’ve blogged about a great online resource for letterpress enthusiasts–Briarpress.org, but we think the best way to learn is by interacting face-to-face and getting some hands-on experience.
I fell in love with letterpress and all things typography a little over two years ago after I took an “Intro to Letterpress” class at a local community studio through the Virginia Art of the Book in Charlottesville. I was able to spend a Saturday afternoon designing a card, setting type, locking up a chase, creating a makeready, and finally printing a small run of my greeting cards.
It was such a great experience for me to be introduced to typography and letterpress from teachers that have been life long printers and experts in the field. I was able to learn so much from that one afternoon and started to really appreciate the printed word and all of the love and labor that goes into the art. It’s very different to be able to set lead type than it is to make a few font/size changes in the computer.
We want to encourage anyone who is interested to find your own local resources. This could mean contacting a local print shop, a community studio, or the art department at a local college or university.
Below is the first letterpress card that I ever designed and made two years ago at the VABC. I used Korbel and Copperplate lead fonts and printed them on a Vandercook Universal I proof press. Thank you, VABC, for introducing me to such a rewarding and wonderful art!