Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Vintage woodtype used for digital typography

A few weeks ago, I came across an intriguing image that I wanted to use for a flyer for an upcoming live music event. The image is from a rare book, and I wanted to retain that hand-printed-ink-on-aged-paper look with the typography. At first I started to isolate the letters from around that same page and copy/paste them to form words, but soon decided I didn't like the serif typeface. After some pondering on how best to execute my plans, I contacted my friend Katherine Case, the poet and letterpress artist whom I used to intern for when she lived in the bay area. Katherine now has her own studio in Reno, Meridian Press, where she prints beautiful custom letterpress books and broadsides.

Within just a couple weeks of our conversation, I received a lovely stamp-covered tube in the mail. Katherine had hand-set both large woodtype and 72 point Helvetica, and had even printed it in teal (my favorite color) so that I could put them up on my wall afterward. Fantastic!

I then digitized the posters, creating high-resolution tiffs, and isolated the letters so that I could use them later in my digital projects. Huge thanks to Katherine! I plan to put them to good use, though I promise that I will eventually get myself back into the letterpress studio too.

  Shown here are the poster, and resulting digital type.

Additionally, I think this video does a nice job of demonstrating the feeling and atmosphere of a letterpress studio.

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