Joshua Stocker

November 27, 2009, 4:11 pm
Filed under: Typography, University Work | Tags: , , , ,

Hoxton Letterpress Day
Thursday I finally got the chance to use and create with a letterpress. It was an incredible experience which helped me gain a far better understanding of type and how letterforms work together. The place itself was full of beautiful type, hundreds of draws filled with differently sized typefaces, each with their own characteristics. I was quite taken back by how much work used to go into printing. The fact newspapers were ever created this way is quite unbelievable as the process is so time consuming.
We were given a few hours to decide the theme of our poster, which ended up being “Design envy”. As a group we then came up with ten lines which we felt reflected design envy.

10 Lines

1.Tear the damn thing apart / Put it back together
2. Fearless & Fierce
3. Make them Believe
4. Break the rules BUT Stick to the brief
5. Stop
6. Pimp it up & Strip it back
7. Own the Idea
8. Try something you can’t do
9. Create the Spectacular
10. Tempt and Provoke

Printing the Poster

Once everyone had created their phrase, Graham (Owner of the letterpress workshop) moved everyones work to a central block. They were positioned perfectly in a vertical line, before being inked up and printed onto crisp white paper.


I found the whole day a great, fascinating experience. I now feel I have a far greater understand of the way type fits together. The points system, and old methods of print are still so relevant today. Digital lets you go far beyond what can be done in a place like this, but there is still something about the quality you get which is simply unachievable in any other way. The fact it is also such a time consuming and limited process adds far more worth to the designs. I would love at some point to go back and experiment further. I found the day massively inspiring, although I must say, the look of the actual printing blocks is what I found most interesting.


2 Comments so far
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Comment by Bhav Mistry

really really enjoying your blog Josh. Looks like you’re having a great first term. very interesting.

Comment by beth

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