One might think it a happy coincidence that the Sunday Times reports on the resurgence of letterpress printing just when my friend Doug and I debut our line of hand-printed cards. One could think so. But if one were me, one would know better. Everybody and their uncle is churning out letterpress these days and furthermore if you're reading about it in the Times, it's already gathering momentum on the long slide to "over."
In any case, Doug and I have lavished absurd amounts of time on the venture we're calling typeHigh. I probably would have preferred to wrangle over the name a bit more, but luckily Doug is a decision maker. (If it were just me, I'd be tempted to call myself 'negative space press') Type high means, simply, something at the same level as the face or printing surface of the metal type (see the diagram, above, from the very informative briar press). Some of the cards are based on 19th century type specimens, others are just free-wheeling experiments, all incorporate some 19th ornament. Despite the grand intentions, and generous donation of much-discussed onion skin paper, we never did manage to line our envelopes. (I regret not being able to add that detail but years would have gone by, I'd be a bitter, ink-stained crone and we'd have worn out the super-human generosity of Robert Warner at Bowne & Co. And as I think about it, it would most likely have been just a bit de trop) Most of the cards are 3 or more colors which means we fed the card through the press once for each color plus another for the imprint and another, still, for scoring. And these are brawny 19th-century foot-powered machines, no sissy power- or Vandercook presses! My leg muscles are now comically over-developed.
We will be sharing a miniscule portion of Robert's abundant table of wonders (typeHigh and piled high. AH hahaha) attempting to sell our wares at the Center for Book Arts Holiday Sale. Look for our panicked, clueless faces at the
Center for Book Arts Sale
Friday 12/15 ($10 benefit), 6-9 pm
Saturday 12/16 (free), 11 am to 5pm
28 West 27th Street, 3rd Floor