|Colorful Birthday Invitations from Roni Gross’s Letterpress I: Hand Typesetting Class|
In early February, letterpress- and book-artist Roni Gross taught a week-long intensive of one of our most popular classes: Letterpress I: Hand Typesetting. This course teaches the basics of hand typesetting. Students learn the basics of setting type and images by hand, using our collection of metal and wood type, and learn how to operate a Vandercook Proof Press. These beginning skills include an introduction to inking, imposition, and impression. By the end of the class, the students will have experimented with different typefaces and colors, as well as adding illustrations. Letterpress I is a fantastic chance to try out some of the Center for Book Arts’ collection of lead and wood type that we discuss every Tuesday!
|Printed greeting cards and envelopes|
After only a week, just one look at the projects completed show that Gross’s Letterpress I class was indeed a success. The students made birthday cards (seen above) as well a second, independent project, such as greeting cards with beautiful, multicolored envelopes (seen right). Not only were different colors and personalities shown in these cards, but different typefaces, as well! Even on a single card, such as the “HI!” one at right, two different typefaces were used (check out the differences between the style of “H”). Despite being different, the two typefaces complement each other—just as Tuesday Typefaces wants to show you!—and when put together give the card a very whimsical and happy feel.
|Make Mom Happy!|
Students also learned how to incorporate images into their projects, such as the small ET poster seen left. One of my favorite pieces of the class, this image also shows the high level of skill one will acquire during even a short course at the Center for Book Arts! This image is made up of multiple colors and images and required at least two to three press runs. A combination of the green “Phone Home” text, the smaller, orange “make mom happy” text, the orange ET (and hand that might not have been part of the original image!) as well as the phone—which must have been printed after the ET image since it appears on top—this piece shows an understanding of many different aspects of letterpress, including the use of complementary color and typefaces, positioning of text and images, and how to properly layer images. In fact, all of these projects, including the Happy Birthday cards that have an incredible blend of color in them, show off an impressive level of skill for a student who likely never even touched type until the first class!
Letterpress I is one of the most competitive of classes to get into (believe me, I know!) so make sure to grab a spot while you can. Very few students drop out and the waitlist is one of our longest, so I suggest you reserve your place as soon as the classes go up. We’re beginning to add classes for the Spring and Summer seasons, so check back often! Places are currently available for our most recent additions in beginning letterpress, including another intensive section (this time over two weekends) of hand typesetting with Roni Gross! I’m definitely planning on taking one of these courses, so perhaps I’ll see you there!
For more information (as well as information on other letterpress and bookbinding courses available), check out http://www.centerforbookarts.org/classes/, give us a call at (212) 481-0295, or stop in. We’re open Monday-Friday 10:00am to 6:00pm and Saturdays from 12:00 to 4:00!
Have any stories about your favorite part of the Center? Want to give us suggestions or comments? Comment on this post, email us at email@example.com, visit us on Facebook (/centerforbookarts) or follow us on Twitter (@center4bookarts). Can’t wait to see you there!