Presentation details
Typographic form and the 'permanence' of letterpress type

Sarah K McCoy

Sunday 16 September | 14:00 – 14:30
Location: Seminar Room 202

Presentation | Theme: Hand made | Duration: 30 minutes

Much written and discussed in contemporary letterpress relates to how we reconcile and defend its purpose amid the expanding movement toward digital typography? both in print and on the screen.

The growth of a more hygienic and cold digital environment has resulted in a faction of designers responding with work evoking a more manual process including drawing, handwritten elements, hand-set letterpress type, and more organic elements.

A poignant contemporary topic to understand, is how emerging designers and book artists utilize letterpress in the digital age. There is a contrast between the fleeting consumable digital environment and the permanence of letterpress type impression within compositions.

This difference can be bridged when a designer or book artist utilizes contemporary capabilities such as digitally set type and photopolymer plates within letterpress, a time-honored printing approach.

One example is found in a small edition artist’s book Witaj America! Witaj Poland! (Hello America! Hello Poland!). The text explores the permanence of a typographic impression and the interaction of typography, collage, and letterpress among linear and non-linear narratives.

The permanence of the type and impression on the page is amplified when contrasted with the collaged elements in the book, which reflect a more anxious tempo of society.

The static quality of the type treatment reveals a balanced visual appearance resulting in unity among chaotic elements.

This timely topic is suitable for discussion among graphic and interactive designers, book artists, printers, and typographers.

Benefits from this discussion will include new approaches to conventional and unconventional forms of typography.

Speaker details

Sarah K McCoy Assistant Professor Drake University | United States

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