Typography and Letter press workshop

For my first rotation I had typography/letter press which was by far my favourite of all three looking back on it now; it was the first time I had gotten seriously dirty which I love as it makes you feel as if you’ve actually laboured over something.

I was in group B which meant that we were printing first and researching later. We were given a sentence to create with the letters which were in various fonts. I was given the sentence ‘The space between the lines (leading) should be greater than the space between the words.’; leading is the distance between the baselines of successive lines of type.


I immediately felt at home with building the blocks up using furniture as well as quads between words and was finished almost immediately, ready to do a test print. With only one mistake (a backwards g could happen to the best of us) I was ready to fiddle with it to find a design I liked.

I decided to increase the word ‘greater’ in size using wood type (considering the word literally means bigger) to emphasise it. Once I had test printed it and found that it worked I then changed the colour of the word to make it stand out even further.

I then decided to attempt to spell the word ‘greater’ within the letters that made up the sentence; thankfully all the letters were there, so when printing I decided to do them in a different colour ink to separate them from the rest of the what you would call ‘normal’ letters. It was a slightly tedious process as each one of the letters I wanted in a different colour had to be removed and painted separately to the rest, meaning that the furniture and magnets were constantly being moved. However, it provided what I feel to be the perfect result, as you can see below with the final print design:


As I finished early, there was some time for me to explore the rest of the letters and print something just for fun. I decided to do the word ‘BATMAN’ because…well, its f***ing awesome. I first started out using black but that got boring quite quickly. I then decided to double print the word in red and black to give it a somewhat 3D effect:


While switching over the inks I got black over the red ink by accident but thought why not print it and see what comes out, the result ended up looking quite cool:


I then rolled over the blocks with red and try to give it a smoky vignette effect by rolling over the corners in black, which came out really well. As it came out so well I thought I would work into it more so took it home and added the batman symbol in finaliser to create this:


For the second half of the day we went on to do the research. We were each given a sheet with different typography techniques on them that we had to look up and note down by drawing them rather that writing the definition. I quite enjoyed with part as well as you not only learnt what they were but got to practice them which meant the image resonated in my mind, plus some were actually quite fun to draw, leading me to go on and do some more in my sketchbook (even if they are rude).

Overall I’d say typography and the letterpress is bloody brilliant and I would do it endlessly.


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