In recent years there has been a resurgence in hands-on graphic design techniques with designers using old craft techniques in new and exciting ways; the latest trend is letterpress!
The Letterpress Workshop in Central Saint Martins Kings Cross building is equipped for hand composition and letterpress printing; it includes two proof presses, platen presses and approximately 120 cases of metal type. You can see some of the students from our Graphic Design Portfolio Course exploring the workshop on the course instagram
Letterpress is 600-year old technique for relief printing using a printing press. Its invention by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century and revolutionised the way books were made and led to an exponential increase in the production and availability of books. Before letterpress all books were hand-made and hand written, rare early books are available to be viewed for research purposes at the CSM Museum and Study Collection and at the British Library
Some of the most exciting new work with letterpress combines digital and analogue practices, producing block prints and type from digital artwork, or in the case of 2013 BA Graphic Design Graduate Soo Kyung Kim, designing an entirely new typeface (called Locho Sans), using a 3D laser cutter to create the printing blocks and then printing with them in the Letterpress Workshop.
Inspired? The full-time Graphic Design Portfolio Course can help you take your design skills to the next level and create a portfolio for application to BA, MA or Professional Practice. There are still spaces for the term starting in April, details of how to apply can be found on our website. You can take this term as a stand-alone 10-week course or as the first stage of a one-year course.