The Beauty of Letterpress: Old School, Modern Times
What’s New? An Ancient Tradition!
Letterpress is a 600-year old print and design tradition and Neenah Paper is all for it. Designed by a team led by Two Paper Dolls, The Beauty of Letterpress is an online destination that shows how this ancient print craft continues to excite the most progressive designers today. The website is resource center, a gallery of work and place to discover some of the most talented letterpress operators in the United States. The photos below are drawn from hundreds under the Gallery Tab on the site. Even digitally represented, the work is alluring and nuanced. We encourage you to reach out to a letterpress shop represented on this site so you can experience the real thing.
The Beauty of Letterpress is a sister site to The Beauty of Engraving (http://thebeautyofengraving) launched last year. Both were developed in partnership with Two Paper Dolls Letterpress and Design House. The site is resource rich, with expositions on letterpress history, context, educational information, community connections and a list of letterpress printers round out the site. In addition to featured work, The Beauty of Letterpress highlights CRANE® Papers and Neenah Paper and offers paper samples, videos and many community resources.
Letterpress printing continues its renaissance, a phenomena that’s a response to the pervasive digital experience through which we must commonly connect today. Letterpress designers/printers offer real people real beauty and finger-tingling tactility.
Said Tom Wright, senior director of advertising and design for Neenah Paper, “When art or type is pressed into sumptuous paper, it creates a physical impression that simply begs to be touched.” That physical presence, he suggests, is what makes letterpress work compelling and memorable. Nothing excites a designer like creating objects with allure and memorability.
Nothing Like the Real Thing
The new site celebrates the dedicated, idiosyncratic and creative individuals who help make the letterpress community one of the most diverse and passionate creative groups in the business. Everyday, these people make letterpress miracles happen. Go meet some. And be prepared to be delighted — and splattered with ink if you’re lucky.
We believe that the extraordinary, communicative power of letterpress is the “Wow Factor” that leads to meaningful and lasting connections with friends, family and business associates. The site offers letterpress aficionados, casuals fans and the curious a place to meet and learn about the craft and the number of letterpress shops springing up in big cities and small towns across the U.S.
Support the Hamilton
While developing the narrative for the site, Neenah learned about Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum and its rare collection of letterpress history and artifacts. Today, the museum is being forced to move and seeks financial support from letterpress fans to help them cover their heavy moving expenses. The Hamilton’s vast collection of woodblock letters, plates and letterpress equipment are HEAVY and BULKY. Through this new web site, Neenah Paper is helping them raise funds. More on this story next week.
Meawhile, explore the site. Take an ink-smeared letterpress operator to lunch. Better yet, carry lunch in and watch them do their thing. They will show you how everyday they make compelling, memorable printed objects using processes that haven’t changed much in more than six centuries. You’ll fall in love.
Hey!?! What’s the Big Idea?!!
Sign on and sign up: Letterpress printers, designers, lovers and collectors are invited to submit work to The Beauty of Letterpress to share with the world.
Subscribe to the RSS to see new work in real-time, and join its dedicated online communities on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, @BoLetterPress.
The Beauty of Letterpress and The Beauty of Engraving (http://thebeautyofengraving) were developed in partnership with Two Paper Dolls Letterpress and Design House and are presented with CRANE® Papers, the world-famous brand marketed and sold by Neenah Paper.