Update on Letterpress Project

So far I have been able to get into the letterpress at the University of Tennessee, where I put together 3 different compositions. One is a quote with a variety of fonts; another is a simple abstract mix of fonts ; the last is the title “dada” repeated over itself (shown in the sketches). I think these three show the range of Jack Stauffacher’s work from his abstracted book covers to structured layouts. As far as text I tried to mix serif with sanserif where is was appropriate. I also used a mix of lead type with wood type. I was really limited to the type at the press and what I was able to put together in such a short period. I was very conscious about the hierarchy of the pieces, because Stauffacher’s work had a very distinct structure. The size of the finished pieces will be determined by the size and color available at the press, but I’ve peeked at a few examples that are 8 by 10 and 11 by 17, which would be similar to the sizes Stauffacher works with. I’m still experimenting with color, but I’m trying to stick to a bright, primary, highlighting color for emphasis rather than over all color or colored paper. I’m really excited to mix my own ink, which means I’m in full control of the color of every piece. Luckily I have colored paper, as well as other paper available at the press.  I’m also going to work with different strengths of paper to see how the press affects the integrity of the paper such as newsprint, construction paper, and printing paper. As far as displaying the pieces, I still want to show all the pieces I complete because I want this project to be about the process rather than the perfection of printing. I also just really like how the prints are turning out! I think it will be interesting to show people the process of how I printed each piece. I’m really happy so far!


2 responses to this post.

  1. I think it is a wonderful idea to show all the pieces you created, rather than just the ones you feel are most successful. I’m certainly looking forward to it! It will be a great opportunity (and I feel like you are planning on this anyway) to walk us through your refinement process, explaining what isn’t working and why, and why what “worked” actually “worked.” I like your thumbnail designs, and enjoy that you’re working with type in a way that explores its boundaries as an artistic medium.

    Since I don’t know much about the typing process, or even the options available in type design, I’m not sure what else to suggest here in terms of project critique, but if you’re looking for presentation material, I have a suggestion. It would be beneficial (to me, at least) if you briefly described both your design options and Stauffacher’s design options– as a way of explaining why you chose to design what you did. Of course, that is only possible if you have extra time, but if you do, I know I would enjoy it. I look forward to seeing your finished project!


  2. Posted by gotgestalt on 28 November, 2011 at 11:51 am

    I agree with Madison that it’s important to describe in your presentation both your design process and Stauffacher’s as well as the typographic decisions you were limited to and how they are similar, different or loosely connected to Stauffacher’s work and his selections. Now that I’ve seen these pieces in person, I would recommend focusing on how you plan to organize your presentation so that you highlight which pieces are your ‘primary works’ and which are secondary and why. Additionally, it will be useful to discuss limitations that you encountered and how those would be similar or different to Stauffacher’s as well. It might be most useful to organize your presentation so you compare and contrast all elements of your creative project with Stauffacher’s, including content, form and process.


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