Yesterday I dropped some booklets off at a local London letterpress studio for a work project. Theo was so lovely and showed us through how everything works and some of his projects. He has some beautiful old metal typefaces and picture plates to work with, as well as the modern plastic plates when need be. It was amazing to see how they are fitted together into the frame and how the manual press works, completely by hand (and powered by foot). I went back to my computer feeling very envious of his studio and being able to work with his hands, on something real. No wonder web designers are so drawn to letterpress, it fills in a gap that is missing in our industry, while sharing so many common elements of design.
I wanted to produce a layout for the presentation, so I whipped something up in PS while the others put the finishing touches on the presentation. We didn't get time for any quick user tests which was a shame, but overall we had a ball and were very happy with our outcome from the day. The other teams had great ideas and I loved the theme that arose of an app related to your location, not necessarily web based. Perhaps we're seeing the first changes of people wanting to make their online lives smaller and more meaningful?
Today we visited the very impressive letterpress exhibition at Standpoint gallery.
I immediately fell in love with "Never Let the Odds" - it's such a beautiful piece I had to buy one, and I'm looking forward to seeing it on our wall! I also especially liked "Tutti Frutti" because of the vibrant colours. But all of the pieces were inspirational because of the media and the way letterpress makes it so easy to layer and build a piece almost organically. I often miss that tactile side of art and design when working on the web, which is a sentiment summed up perfectly in this video: