We found some time to work on our first challenging lockup and print job. The purpose of this project was to creatively announce the existence of our new letterpress operation. We chose to use typography humor in our ‘Breakup Letter to Helvetica.’ It was inspired by the many typefaces we acquired that are not what we are used to using in our everyday design work. This project took a good bit of two days to lock up, run test prints, make adjustments and test again. We kept the lock up set up because we were not fully satisfied, but still feel like we accomplished something with this project!
I recently had the privilege of meeting Scott Moore of Moore Wood Type. He came to speak to the current type high class at Kent State University. Scott is quite an impressive guy, and he brought along his pant0graph machine to show us his process for recreating wooden type. Basically, one point of the machine follows a pattern and the other side has a small router bit attached to it making the replicated design. It’s pretty slick, and he was gracious enough to allow us all a shot at using it. Check out more about him and his business at http://moorewoodtype.com
So, it was through this, that we acquired a “and” dingbat and decided to make a series of prints of classic pairings. Keep a look out in the gallery, we will update more as we make them!
We have been working on sorting the ten drawers of bagged type that we got with the presses. We have eight done now and mostly random sets left! Take our advice and never decide it’s a good idea to bag letters to transfer into drawers. It was much more time consuming than ever anticipated. But we’re glad to have it behind us and are ready to start using it all!
Even though everything isn’t fully set up and we need some more supplies, we couldn’t wait. We had to run our first job. Of course we were excited to set type for our new press name “Big Press. Little Press.” We came up with the name after much brainstorming, deliberation and polling our friends. The idea came from the fact that we are starting with two presses— a big press and a little press. We also thought this referred to one of us being tall and the other short— a noticeable difference. It was also the favorite choice of most of our friends!
After two long days all of our equipment is unpacked and mostly set up in our garage— sharing space with the motorcycles! Lots of cleaning, sorting and setting up still to do, but can’t wait to run our first print job!
Our second stop was to pick up three cabinets of metal type. Wow, what an experience of cleaning up and loading everything into the truck. This collection came from a retired printer who collected letterpress equipment from local schools as they phased our their printing classes. He kept a small amount of his collection in his basement so he can continue to work, but sold us a good amount of the collection of type. We will be working on cataloguing and listing all of our type in the near future.
Finally— we found a platen press for letterpress printing. And then found lots of drawers of type within the same week! Thanks to Craigslist! And to two kind individuals who decided to sell their equipment and not scrap them for parts. This weekend was moving weekend. We picked up the truck and headed into the Lawrenceville where we picked up the Golding Pearl press and the Kelsey table-top press. We also got additional equipment and about eight drawers of type— but unfortunately without the drawers! It should be quite a task to sort the type back into drawers, but we got some really nice sets.