Letterpress typesetting [pics]

kundera quote1Letterpress printing helps transform words to become beautiful 3D art, which makes it irresistible for a literary nerd like me. I absolutely adore feeling the embossing of the individual alphabets and admire the different stylistic presentation of the 26 letters in English language. It feels as if the typefaces and designs breathe life and authenticity into them.

Thus I got pretty excited when I found out my friend YY has been dabbling with letterpress typesetting at home as his personal project, and to my further delight, he has been working on quotes from some of my favorite authors.

Having never received formal training for letterpress printing, YY picked up his knowledge mainly from the internet and also from visits to letterpress studios and workshops. Below are some of his beautiful set of letterpress tools, which I am absolutely digging.

Letterpress tools
Letterpress tools

For this blog post, he has very kindly did a letterpress print of my all-time favorite quote from Milan Kundera, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” seen at the top of page.  If you are interested to find out how he created the print, click below.

LoadingSTEP ONE
Holding the composing stick in hand, put in the type (blocks used for printing with raised letter or character that decides on font and font size) and leading (distance between leading). Notice each letter is laterally inverted, and therefore, the quote will need to be placed to read from right to left and the sentences will have to flow from bottom to up.

LockingSTEP TWO
To prepare text for printing, secure the type inside the Adana Chase, which is the frame used to lock the type.

Loading Adana

STEP THREE
Load the chase onto the Adana printing machine seen here. With ink and roller in hand, spread the ink on the type and get ready to press away.

Below are examples of YY’s works. Go show him some support on his Facebook page ‘Typesettingsg’!

1Q84 by Haruki Murakai
“1Q84” by Haruki Murakai

Click here for my review of ‘1Q84.’

"The Sermon of the Twelve Acknowledgments" by Anne Sexton
“The Sermon of the Twelve Acknowledgments” by Anne Sexton
"A tale for the time being" by Ruth Ozeki
“A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki

Click here for my review of ‘A Tale for the Time Being.’

Note: All pictures and information here are kindly provided by YY. This is neither a sponsored nor promotional post.

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6 thoughts on “Letterpress typesetting [pics]

  1. Great post! I am also a letterpress printer and bookbinder, and, of course, bibliophile, and LOVE the weaving of the art of language with the traditional handcraft of printing. Glad you got to experience letterpress!!

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