Paul's Adventures in Letterpress

At the last count, the number of typefaces occupying my font management library sat at 6,886. Of these, I probably use around 1%.

This is one reason I enjoy fiddling around, printing bits and pieces with my Adana 8×5 letterpress machine and letterpress in general. I only have a handful of typefaces which are usable (and organised). Perpetua 36pt, Rockwell Shadow 24pt, Akzidenz 18pt, Imprint 12pt, Gill Sans 10pt are the main ones. This restriction is a welcome break from scouring font libraries.


The restrictions don’t stop there either. Unfortunately, I am not blessed with fully stacked type drawers, so if a set of letters doesn’t have enough ‘E’s for what I want to print then tough, I can’t use it. So more often than not, the choice is out of my hands and the design is dictated to me, based on availability rather than preference.

At the end of the process, I have difficulty in dissembling the print. Mainly because I find the composed block just as impressive as the final print. Seeing how it is all intricately put together with correct lead spacers and improvised slithers of old train tickets, it feels like a work of art in itself.

Like it or not, to make another print, I need to take it to bits.

2 April 2017

Further reading
Scotland Food & Drink Conference
13 December 2018
Gorbals Ideas Fund Logo Competition
13 November 2018
V&A Dundee Opening
30 October 2018