These are my ruminations on life, design, and the pursuit of happiness…

A week of type & printing

I spent a great deal of time this week at the International Printing Museum. I was also busy this week printing my recipe card for the Letpress Cookbook. (Letpress is a web server for letterpress printers.) I had my type cast at the museum last Saturday, ingredients cast in Ludlow and directions on the Linotype. Unfortunately, the fonts I was thinking of in my head, they did not have at the museum, so I had to redesign on the fly. Once I got the type home, I realized it wouldn’t fit the layout. However, I had 350 recipe cards to get out, printed in 2 colors on the front, and 1 on the back, and had to get printing on at least part of it. I decided to keep the ludlow type, and try to recast the linotype text later in the week. Monday I printed the Ludlow cast “Mandate” font, along with my bird linocut, and hand set “Vaudeville” for the titles.

Tuesday I had a field trip to the museum with both of my classes. (Last semesters trip here) we had a super fun time this semester, printing wood type and cuts on 2 Vandercooks, an 1850’s parlor press, and a proof press.

The Linotype operator wouldn’t be in until Thursday though, so when Thursday rolled around, back to the museum I went. Thursday was also Veterans day, so I had the kids with me, and got them started making some decorations for the Museums’ upcoming Dickens Day event.DickensDay10FlyerV3-791x1024
I finished printing the recipe card Thursday night and Friday, so now that project is at least done.

Saturday, back I was again at the museum, for the Book arts Guild meeting and lecture on Richard Hoffman.
Hoffman was a printer and teacher, known for his use of ornament, such as on this lavish cover
After the lecture we had hands on time printing with some of the museums ornaments,
and a viewing in the gallery of some of Hoffman’s printed works.
This cover was one of my favorites, with its inspired use of swashes.IMG_1559
Just when I was getting ready to leave, some fellow docents were printing a proof of these fabulous initial characters. Deco script initials
Stuff like this gives me chills, I like it so much! Here they are cleaned up a bit in photoshop, and alphabetized: script initials alphabetized Now we at the museum would like to find out where they originated from. If you have any ideas, please leave them in the comments below!

Pihs Ho!

At CSULB, I teach Typography and Graphic Design classes. One thing I enjoy doing with my class is introducing them to the history of both by taking a field trip to the International Printing Museum. When you go to the museum, either as an individual or with a group, you get a guided tour through the museums display of antique printing equipment.

It starts with the museums Franklin press, museumtour3
where Gary Mark Remson demonstrates the casting of type, and the quick cooling of type metal.

Then on to the reproduction Gutenberg press, museumtour6where one of the students assists in helping to print a page of the Gutenberg Bible.

We also see the fancy Liberty press,

and everyone’s favorite, the Linotype.
museumtour22 (this photo is from an earlier date)

We then move across the parking lot to the Book Arts area, for some hands on printing. My morning class was having such fun printing, I had to kick them out for the afternoon class!

When you have never printed before, and are setting type, some funny accidents can occur, like this example- he was trying to spell “OH SHIP”, but “PIHS HO” he got it backward!

We al thought this was so funny, that it became our catch phrase for the semester, whenever something went wrong. On the day of the final one of the students brought in a silkscreen, and printed us all “PIHS HO” shirts.

Happy summer everyone!

New holiday cards have arrived!

So after a week of carving, paper ordering, ink mixing,
press treadling madness, I am happy to say that I have 4 lovely new holiday cards in stock.

First we have the splendid Seasons Greetings Penguin.
I sent him out as my holiday card last year, and he was quite a hit.
He is hand carved from linoleum in 3 colors, and has hand set type for the “Seasons Greetings”. Seasons is printed in the font “fortune” later called “fortuna” from the Bauer typefoundry. There is an awesome specimen book of it posted over at grain edit. The greetings is set in “thunderbird” that was an antique reissue cast by
Typefounders Phoenix.

Then I printed the jolly Peas on Earth.
For this card I had a magnesium plate made from my original drawing. I used A&G Engraving to make the plate, I met them at the Los Angeles Printers Fair. This was my first time using them, and I have to say I couldn’t be happier. I will definately be back!

Next up is this sweet card that I call “Dreams of Peace”.
It is all hand carved from linoleum, and I love the retro pink and green color scheme. I might be sending these this year, but I haven’t decided yet. I have another card in the works with a deer with his (her?) eyes open, but I haven’t finished carving it all yet.

Last I thought I would revisit my Hop Pea graphic and reinvent it as a Hanukkah card.
The pea image is printed from a polymer plate I had done at Boxcar Press. I then hand set the star, braces, and type which is “Romany” from American Type Founders (ATF). He makes me Hop-Pea!

So which is your favorite? Leave a comment and let me know, or even better- go buy some!