An Introduction to Letterpress Printing: A Studio-Based Workshop

John Kristensen & Katherine McCanless Ruffin

A live-only letterpress workshop scheduled for Tuesday, 27 October 2020, 12:00–1:15 p.m. ET, via Zoom.

This event was limited to the first 25 people who registered; all seats have filled, and registration is closed. 

This workshop, which is based on the letterpress printing labs that are an integral part of T-60 “The History of 19th- & 20th-Century Typography & Printing,” will present the basics of traditional hand composition of metal type by hand and printing on the flatbed Vandercook proofing press. During this workshop, a limited edition two-color keepsake set and printed specially for this workshop will be produced. Copies will be mailed to workshop participants by RBS after the workshop. Those registered for the workshop will receive a curated list of videos about letterpress printing that they should view before the workshop.

A collaboration between Shinola Press, Katherine Ruffin’s studio, and Firefly Press, John Kristensen’s press, this workshop will highlight the strength of the bibliographical community and the power of combining analog and digital communication means.

Video References

For viewing in advance of the workshop:
Excerpts are noted for longer videos.

Museum Plantin-Moretus, 2015
Watch from 7’30” to 14’30”.

Oxford University Press and the Making of a Book, 1925
Watch from 1’50” to 9’18”.

Presswork, Rare Book School, 2020

Firefly Press Video, 2001

For optional viewing after the workshop:

History of Typography, 2013

How Ink is Made, 2010

Linotype the Film, 2012

Proceed and Be Bold, 2012

The first iteration of this virtual workshop ran 1 July 2020.