Letterpress workshop

On Thursday we had a letterpress workshop that proved to be really useful indeed. We were only 4 people there, but at least we 4 got more out of the 6 hours in the letterpress studio and we got some good one-on-one help from Kim. Also I found the workshop really good because I have only once ever done letterpress so it was really good practice for me.

We began the day by choosing one typeface and printing the whole typeface a few times. I chose a big and bold Grotesque typeface that looked appealing to me. I tried 2 different layouts: one horizontal and one portrait. The portrait one turned out quite nice actually. It looked like it could be a poster. I tried a few more prints with the same layout in different colors.

First Quote

In the afternoon we moved on to our independent projects. First I choose a few quotes from my assigned text and then evaluated which would be the most interesting to work with. I picked a quote: “like a line running parallel to time”. I thought I could try something interesting wit that. But I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I just tried something without thinking too much. I arranged the words in 6 rows as if “running” down the paper using Goudy Square typeface. I actually really liked how it looked printed on a paper  (below, the print in the middle). I just wasn’t sure about the spacing between “A” and “LINE” and the row’s alignment with the row above, so I tried another one where it started a bit later (the print on the top). When I saw that one printed I thought the first version looked better because of the steps it created. However I tried a third version where the word “LINE” was a tiny bit closer to the “A” (the bottom print below).

In the middle the version No. 1, on top version No. 2, and at the bottom version No. 3

I also talked about my experiments with the teacher who made a few really good points. She liked the way the text almost looked like a river on the paper which was perfect considering that the text that I’m working with is about a man’s walk along the river Lee. I also told Kim that I was inspired by one of the mini-monograph presentations after Christmas break. It was about a designer who had done a typographic piece about Thames by constructing the river’s shape from repeating “Thames” words. Back then though I just thought that the piece was interesting and that I liked the style, I didn’t yet make any connection to this project. When I was describing the picture to Kim I couldn’t remember who that designer was, but I managed to now later find the picture on Google and who it was by: Alan Kitching.

The picture by Alan Kitching that I was inspired by.
My version 3, the layout that I liked the best in the end.

Second Quote

After that I tried to work with another quote to try another approach to the text. I chose “we hold the past within us”. Again  I had no clear plan but I just took the Outline San Serif typeface to use it for the “WITHIN” part. When I was printing this, I also tried some versions where I tried to accentuate the word “PAST” by using less ink on that so that it would look like it is fading away. It didn’t really work as well as I was hoping though. Also I thought it made the whole thing look too busy if it had different fonts and different sizes and different shades too.

Three different experiments
the version I thought was the best


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