Creative Commons licensed photograph, "Underwood," by Flickr user Canned Muffins

Lab #6

Pulling the Press

In the past decade or so, letterpress printing has seen something of a resurgence, often in tandem with the resurgence of other “artisanal” practices from hand-sewn clothing to craft beer brewing. Having spent some time working with cold metal type, what do you make of its current revival? Why are people—and in particular, younger people—drawn to this method of making texts that is certainly slower than hitting “print” in a word processor? Is it all just nostalgia, or is there something else going on? Consider too the contemporary letterpress scene in relationship to its historical forebears. In what ways do the current letterpress enthusiasm line up with history, and how does it depart—and what do these overlaps and departures tell us about our own historical moment?