Saturday, 1 December 2012

Letterpress yes, but not as we know it

This semester I have been almost exclusively printing using letterpress type and presses, and that has left me in a bit of a dilemma about which blog to post on, this one or the one for our letterpress group, LEN.  So if you've been missing out, you can catch up with some of my recent printing over at:

This week, after a scare over the health of the Vandercook SP15 - my preferred press - I raided the box of type ornaments and other oddities that is kept in the print centre.  As well as stars, intricate patterned border pieces and pointy fingers, I had noticed that there was a big selection of curly brackets so I set myself the challenge of fishing all of these out and printing them.  I was envisioning something akin to the barcodes and striped patterns that inspired my printing on envelopes with the shilling strokes last year.

I set them out pretty much as them came out of the box, and as you can see above there was quite a range of sizes.  For the record, I am aware that this is not the recommended way to lock up your type!  I knew I wouldn't have time to set everything out and pack it precisely, so I went on the theory that as long as there was enough pressure from the sides (as it appears above) then I should be able to get away with trying to fill as many gaps as possible to stop them moving inwards.  I printed on some envelopes and strips of paper of varying thickness, to see how the effect changed.

The results were similar to what I was expecting, though I think the print was more fine and delicate than I anticipated.  When I was setting the type I was reminded of icicles - though that could have just been the temperature messing with me - but the prints make me think of those printouts of peoples heartbeats, ECGs?  It would be good to print a collection of different arrangements, and they lend themselves well to my theme of coded data.