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Introduction to Letterpress Printing

with Cheryl Itamura

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  •   Trailer

  •   01 This is Letterpress

    04:21
  •   03 All Sorts of Type

    04:32

Class duration: 0h 45m

See all 10 lessons
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About The Class

take full advantage of the creative possibilities of Letterpress Printing

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.

Topics Covered


Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    This is Letterpress

    04:21
  2. 02

    A Very Brief History Of Letterpress

    04:00
  3. 03

    All Sorts of Type

    04:32
  4. 04

    Getting Set

    12:13
  5. 05

    Think Ink

    02:10
  6. 06

    Printing with Wood Type

    04:45
  7. 07

    Printing with Metal Type

    08:14
  8. 08

    .918: The Magic Number

    01:52
  9. 09

    A World of Possibilities

    01:29
  10. 10

    A World of Resources

    01:44

Meet Your Expert

Cheryl Itamura

Cheryl Itamura is a letterpress printer, designer and producer. Her work blurs the lines between mediums as she combines letterpress printing with photography, social commentary, personal idealism and mixed media to create sensory work and conceptual art installations. She is ... read more

See instructor's Classes

100% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Erica Engdahl

    Erica Engdahl

    June 2016

    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

    April 2016

    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".

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