Letterpress Workshop


As part of the typography module for the course, we were asked to produce a traditional letterpress onto paper.

We use oil based ink to print onto soluble thick paper. I used the press machine twice. One with black ink and the other with red ink. We rolled a dollop of ink onto a piece of glass and then spread some of the ink onto the plate that the ink would stick. The rollers on the machine were then rolled up and down to give an even spread of ink for the metal stamps of letters to be pressed onto. The paper was then placed into position where the paper grip was. We pressed hard onto the machine to give a clear print of the letters on the piece of card.

The print of black ink contained a little too much ink and so it seeped out under the letter stamps. The next print I used a little less ink and made sure the ink was spread out evenly on the plate to give a clearer and sharper outcome. The benefit I found from using traditionally printing techniques such as this, was that it gives a rustic and more personal feeling to work, whereas with computers the prints are sharp and less time consuming.

After letting the prints dry, I scanned them into a computer. This would allow me to edit them in Photoshop to see how illegible I could make the text, how I could morph it, and what effects I could add to it. Here I repeated the text into different layers, making them more opaque and layering them to make them illegible. This helped me get to grips with what I could do to make something more eye-catching and exploring type and legibility further. The next step I think I should take is by changing the colour of different layers of text and adding filters such as adding noise or chromatic aberration.


Author: jennifertaylorgraphics

First year student studying Graphic Communication at the Cardiff School of Art and Design

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