Recommend some excellent (book or web) letterpress printing resources
January 13, 2005 7:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm fascinated by the intricacies of good old letterpress printing. there are lots of online and book resources re typefaces, but not as many regarding the letterpress printing. I'd love to learn more, but google isn't really helping. Any good books or websites?

I've already checked out this book, I'm looking for similar resources. thanks.
posted by matteo to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
You might want to talk to the people here. They've been doing awesome stuff with letterpress for several years now and are very nice. I work with one of the founder's sisters; if you have specific questions feel free to email me and I'll pass them on to her.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:45 AM on January 13, 2005


BriarPress is a great general resource. There are a lot of online letterpress printers as well -I'll dig up some more links.

I bought a 3x5 Kelsey letterpress in October, and finally got ink for it last week. That was when I realized I have absolutely no idea how to work my press. And there is very little online about the actual operation of a manual letterpress. It SEEMS pretty straightforward, but I dove in headfirst with some red ink and a basic plate and ended up with an enormous mess and no actual prints. So I'm keen to learn more and find more information.

I was actually considering setting up a community site for novice letterpress users, hoping that pooling resources would help us all learn.
posted by annathea at 7:50 AM on January 13, 2005


I've been there! What willl be useful depends if you want to do it or just read about it. Briar Press has a really great online museum of letterpress stuff that outlines some of the presses and equipment and the diferent types of presses. The interesting thing about letterpresses is that depending where you live, they're pretty easy to get involved with, even purchasing your own [if you can move them, they're heavy as hell]. Presses are often being gotten rid of cheaply and people who know how to work with them are generally [though not always] excited about teaching the craft to folks who are learning. Some cities have really good resources for learning, such as the Independent Publishing Resource Center in Portland OR and the Center for Book Arts in NYC. This page also lists a bunch of printing museums that have online components, you can see if there are any in your area.
posted by jessamyn at 7:50 AM on January 13, 2005


Found this on del.icio.us a while ago. One of my friends is actually a hot metal typefounder for M&H so I am very interested in the stuff.
posted by grouse at 8:03 AM on January 13, 2005


I ran a letterpress many moons ago, a Heidelberg windmill. Besides the sites already mentioned there's Melbourne Museum of Printing.

Starting back in the early 1900s, Linotype produced the Linecaster. This early marvel of automation was used to set hot type for newspapers pretty much up until the 1970s. And the type it produced was, indeed hot. Hot lead was poured into molds which produced lines-o-type.

One of my brothers set type on and later owned a Linotype Linesetter. Unfortunately, working in a closed environment with molten lead contributed to his death at a relatively young age.
posted by SteveInMaine at 8:25 AM on January 13, 2005


... was about to say SteveInMaine... LEAD?! The ol' PumBum?!

:(
posted by basicchannel at 10:01 AM on January 13, 2005


I started with a kelsey, then quickly got rid of it and upgraded to a Chandler and Price Pilot (an infinitely better press; the Kelsey is just a toy). Now I have a Vandercook SP-15 which is a wonderful, wonderful machine - I urge anyone interested in letterpress, if you're not needing a fast job press, to invest in one of these. Large form, fantastic control, even impression all of the time, and indestructable.

Grouse, who do you know at M&H? Chris Chen? Is he still there?
posted by luriete at 10:18 AM on January 13, 2005


AskMeFi rocks my world. thanks everybody
posted by matteo at 10:42 AM on January 13, 2005


This website has been set up to provide information about all aspects of handpress printing, including practical presswork, printers and their publications, and useful hints regarding the craft.
posted by verstegan at 11:28 AM on January 13, 2005


« Older Recommend places for intelligent, laid-back online...   |   Form-to-email gateway script that works with... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.