The messy, slow and painstaking manual process of letterpress printing dropped out of the mainstream 30 years ago, but is currently enjoying a small-scale revival as a craft; a conference next month at St Bride Library, a graphic design and typography centre, turns its gaze to the trend.
The one-day conference, titled Letterpress: A Celebration, explores the recent growth in letterpress techniques within commercial work, decades after it stopped being the main printing technique. The speakers ask why designers and other creatives would choose to use such a cumbersome and unwieldy piece of equipment, particularly when it imposes considerable restraints on artwork, colour, layout and type – particularly in an age where desktop publishing and printing makes the whole process considerably easier.
A number of devotees of the letterpress explain why the technique appeals to them in this day and age, and display their work in this day of talks, demonstrations and displays. Speakers include:
* Phil Abel – Hand & Eye Letterpress
* Claire Bolton – The Alembic Press
* Alex Cooper & Rose Gridneff – London College of Communication
* Alan Kitching & Celia Stothard – The Typography Workshop
* Alan May – Press builder
* Harry McIntosh – Compositor and typecaster
* John Randle – Whittington Press
* Patrick Walker – dust
The conference takes place on Friday, November 7. Click here for bookings and more information.