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Introduction to Letterpress Printing

Lesson 9 of 10

A World of Possibilities

Cheryl Itamura

Introduction to Letterpress Printing

Cheryl Itamura

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Lesson Info

9. A World of Possibilities

Lesson Info

A World of Possibilities

so the world of letter press offers many possibilities. Originally, letter Press was for printing. Books and woodcuts were the illustrative element in books from their letter. Press was used for producing periodic ALS on broadsides, public notices, that sort of thing. But now that it is an art form, it's freed up to create other things like stationery, greeting cards, packaging, CD covers and any number of things that you can think of. Don't let that limit you what's available in letter press. Now you can apply letter press to just about anything that you can think of. I got letter press artists now that air creating sculptures with letter press elements, all sorts of different packaging, from chocolate bars to posters to protest signs. You name it anything you can think of. You can print it with letter press, especially if you take your computer graphics, create a photo polymer played as we discussed in an earlier chapter, and go ahead and take that onto Uprooting, press and print it ...

using letter press. The sky's the limit

Class Description

The letterpress style of printing dates back to the 15th century and is experiencing a resurgence in popularity today. The stunning tactile and visual imprint of letterpress is used for business cards, invitations, poster prints, and more. In Introduction to Letterpress Printing, you’ll learn all about the machines and methods behind this celebrated practice.

The San Francisco Center for the Book (SFBC) is a non-profit outpost dedicated to preserving and teaching all aspects of book making. In this class, SFBC instructor Cheryl Itamura will walk you through the letterpress process and introduce you to the equipment used to create the most popular printed looks.

You’ll learn about:

  • Printing with the Vandercook Cylinder (Proof) Press
  • Setting wood type, lockup, inking, and printing with a proof press
  • Printing with the Tabletop Platen Jobbing (Clamshell) Press
  • Working with metal type, lockup, ink
  • Printing with the clamshell press

Cheryl will talk about gaining access to printing studios in your own community and offer tips on building your own collection of equipment and how to use and maintain it.

Letterpress printing produces timeless, artisan paper products. Learn how you can take full advantage of the creative possibilities of this historic form of printing from Cheryl Itamura in Introduction to Letterpress Printing.


Erica Engdahl

This is a super inspiring course that really made me want to try letterpress printing! Itamura is a great instructor who speaks clearly and shows and explains every piece of equipment and that's really good if you, like me, don't know very much about letterpress printing before hitting play on this course. Well worth the money!

Henry Aquino

Great Intro class, a little pricey for how short it was, but still worth it. I don't see anywhere to download the resource list mentioned in the movie "A World of Resources".

Chris Guppy

It's a great intro, but like Henry, I don't see the resource list for download that she mentions.