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One activity which we have adopted as a regular CPD activity, helping to inform our relationship to design practice is letterpress printing. We have a print workshop adjacent to our studio (A) in the obviously named – Studio B.
The letterpress printing process is a physical one, although definitively linked with the principles of typography and graphic design, it’s actual process feels a million miles apart from contemporary computer based design.
Each stage of letterpress needs careful consideration as to alter it is time consuming and (for some) laborious. Electing to change a typeface or increase the type size mid-way through a composition results in the complete work needing to be taken apart and replaced – even the spaces between the words! A very different experience in terms of effort and time to the simple ‘two click’ operation when using a computer.
The process is time consuming, the ink smells and once your work is completed you will need to wash your hands – but, what follows is a comfortable tiredness – a positive bi-product of the physical, mental and some would say spiritual process.
Above – some samples of our letterpress work.
Our work is currently on display in Ireland (Dublin – Print Museum), America (Hamilton Type Museum – Wisconsin) and held in the V&A permanent collection.
From time to time Studio B is commissioned for commercial projects – and is always engaged in ‘projects that Matter’, currently we are making work in response to the ‘While You Were Sleeping’ project – initiated by Sara Burgess.
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© Carl Middleton – 2019
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