https://monotypemain.prod.acquia-sites.com/sites/monotype/files/styles/top_hat_banner_1000_124_/public/2021-10/best-of-fontacular-2021_188.png?itok=DD5x8eRm
Please update your browser. Why?
Type Tips

The Magic That Is Letterpress

Some of you digital age kids ;) may not recognize what the images in our introductory post are, so maybe there’s some ’splaining to do. The top image are wood type letters; the bottom one shows metal type. They are used in letterpress, a dwindling printing technique that nevertheless still counts many fervent admirers.

“Letterpress puts a bite into the paper; there’s a three-dimensional quality that no other printing method can equal.”
“Letterpress puts a bite into the paper; there’s a three-dimensional quality that no other printing method can equal.”

But what better way to demonstrate what exactly letterpress is than by simply showing the printing presses and the people operating them in action? Because, as John Kristensen, proprietor of Firefly Press from Somerville, Massachusetts, testifies, “Ultimately it is the process. What the the printer loves is the doing of it.”

Below is a wonderful short film by Chuck Kraemer, who filmed John Kristensen and his apprentice at work.

FireFly Letterpress from ilovetypography.com on Vimeo.

The video is a touching testimony to a vanishing art. But as John Kristensen expresses, “It will die – eventually – because people will no longer remember how to do it. It’s OK. I’m only responsible for my watch. I’m thankful every day that I get to do this.” Moving stuff.

And for the font spotters among you, the video features cameos by Garamont/Garamond No. 3, Cochin, Bodoni, Bembo, Michelangelo, Bulmer, and Perpetua, amongst others, and assorted borders and ornaments.

Source: recovered from FontFeed

* * *

FontShop Letternews

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive amazing offers, useful type tips and information about the latest font releases.