Letterpress: Forward thinking
- Friday 19 November 2010
- 9:30 am (registration from 8.45)
- In the Bridewell Hall, St Bride Foundation
- Tickets £75/£60 FoSB members · concessions £30/£25 FoSB members
Join us for a day packed with talks, demonstrations and discussion celebrating new ideas and practice in handset typography.
Letterpress, we were once told, was a thing of the past. Yet, now letterpress is very clearly the focus of renewed enthusiasm. Interest in setting types by hand continues to grow, with an increase in letterpress activity further fuelled by an ongoing concern with visual authenticity. For many, letterpress offers something beyond straightforward graphic reproduction. It offers the means to create hand-made objects of worth.
But to what extent are we still looking backwards rather than forwards when we consider our expectations of letterpress? Much contemporary practice certainly seems to have settled into something of a retro-groove. In the midst of all the nostalgia though, there are people who offer alternatives to this potential dead-end, reinventing their practices and working in more exploratory ways.
Our speakers will share with us their excitement at the possibilities before us. Together we can discover what is genuinely new in letterpress thinking across areas such as education, design, printing practice and mechanical futures. Having begun to find out what innovation in letterpress might mean, the challenge will be for each of us to then consider how we might creatively respond.
Dafi Kühne, a Swiss graphic designer and letterpress printmaker who, as well as being an intern at the legendary Hatch Show Print poster shop in 2008, explored the experimental boundaries of ‘Woodtype Now!’, the title of his graduate dissertation.
Edwin Pickstone, a young designer based in Glasgow whose graduate work, featured in Eye 57 back in 2005, embodied a potential new direction for letterpress that he has followed through in more recent projects.
JMG, Typoretum and Patrick Randle who have followed individual paths into garages, sheds and outhouses in the pursuit of a love of letterpress printing and who together comprise the creative collective of the Occasional Print Club.
Catherine Dixon, a designer and teacher from London who will tell something of the so-far so-good survival story of Grafica Fidalga, the only remaining typographic ‘lambe-lambe’ printshop in São Paulo, Brazil.
When & Where
St Bride Foundation
Est. in 1891, St Bride Foundation was originally the social and educational hub of printing and publishing on Fleet Street. Nowadays, this historic building is a multifunctional space with regular talks, exhibitions and workshop courses. It is also home to St Bride Library and The Bridewell Theatre.
Our central aim is to preserve heritage of print, while at the same time provide a platform for graphic design and the book arts.