Today we had our letterpress workshop at Vernon Street. There were four of us in the morning session which meant that we were able to spend a sufficient amount of time completing what we needed to do whilst being able to ask questions too.
Firstly we were asked to choose a sentence we wanted to print out. I chose 'If you try your best you can do anything.' I chose to use this quote as is it one which has meant a lot since an early age. It also allowed me to experiment with text on two rows rather than just doing something short and simple which wouldn't have taken long at all.
We then chose a typeface we wanted to use and each draw was taken our for us all. The one I chose was called Univers Light 18pt. I chose it because it is a sans serif font and was very suited to my way of working. Below is an image of all of the different elements within the typeface.
We were then given a table to inform us about where everything is placed in the font. It is important that all of the pieces stay in the correct place, otherwise it makes the letterpress process much more time consuming. We were told to use the middle spacers inbetween each word to apply accurate leading.
This is what mine looked like once it was ready to be printed. Once I had placed all of my letters in the correct place I then used the quads to fill in the spaces and make it secure enough to be printed. This is extremely important to ensure it is as accurate as possible.
Below is the same image with the addition of the leading, this is what is used above and below each of the rows of text to ensure there is an equal amount of spacing, but also to make it easier to transfer the different pieces when placing it into the correct equipment ready for print.
Below is what mine looked like once it was ready to be printed. However I had to wait for the two other boys to finish theirs before they could be fully prepared to use properly.
We were then ready to start printing. I found this process really interesting and very much suited to me, I much prefer this to screenprinting, I think this is because you are guaranteed to be able to successfully print using this process and each time be left with a strong result.
This is what it looked like when it was completely ready with everyone's work ready to print. Ellen's was separate due to the sizing of hers but we printed first and then she had a go afterwards. It is easier to place them all together in this case as it saves time.
The furniture surrounding the text as well as the other mechanisms were keeping the text in place so that they were secure to print.
We were told how to safely carry out the process without hurting ourselves first. It is important to align the paper with other pieces of paper underneath it and put our foot on the pedal to lift the togs along the top and secure the paper down.
Once this is done we are now ready to start printing. It is important to maintain a clockwise motion turning the roller with one hand and guiding the paper through with the other hand.
I really enjoyed this workshop and look forward to trying it out again in the future! I would say the only downside to this method of printing is the limited amount of typefaces to choose from. Meaning that you have to just improvise and find one most suited to what you are producing.
Below are the outcomes of our letter press experience. Mine is the quote in the centre, printed on a variety of stock.