Although the modern era led publications to shift to digital mediums, traditional printing is still kept alive in many parts of the world. Letterpress remains an effective channel to spread news or information and an instrument in making crafts like packaging material and business cards.
There are people though, who are truly passionate in letterpress printing that they have turned it into a form of art. There are exhibits and museums around the world dedicated to the printing press and everything that’s connected to it.
The Museum of Printing is one, which recently settled into its new and improved venue in Haverhill, Massachusetts. What They Think specified that the museum currently displays more than 50 tons of printing equipment and over 6,000 books on display.
It’s just a portion of the grandeur of the printing age, and yet it’s already hard to grasp what you can see and experience in this single museum. Among the most notable items are printing equipment from the Civil War period as well as vintage printers and scanners.
Elsewhere, the Virgil Getto Hall Art Gallery in Western Nevada College (WNC) at Fallon City is more focused on letterpress art as it acknowledges the works of people who enjoy letterpress printing. The WNC website mentioned that the exhibit, titled “Words + Images: Broadsides from the Black Rock Press,” will be on display until October 26.
More than 30 broadsides made using letterpress processes and tools such as handset type and relief plates are lined up along the halls of the gallery. There’s no admission fee to encourage more visitors and spread the dedication of writers and printers.
One of Nevada’s respected writers, Robert Laxalt, is featured through quotations included on the broadsides. Book artists, printmakers, and students also assisted in making the exhibit happen.
Truly, letterpress and printing were, and still are, significant instruments in the progress of society. Without them, reading your broadsheet while having your coffee in the morning wouldn’t be possible, and that’s just among the simplest forms of their value. Everyone, from the average person to the greatest historical figures should know their importance.
Even the great Renaissance man was keen on letterpress work. It’s a fact that Leonardo da Vinci is now immortalised through his artworks, numerous films such as Leonardo da Vinci: The Genius in Milan and games like Da Vinci Diamonds which incorporates the artist’s artworks as slot symbols. Aside from his paintings, however, the man was also a prolific inventor, and one of his creations was a letterpress machine which Trib Live described as a favourite in exhibits that recognise his brilliant inventions.
In short, all the books you’ve read, posters you’ve seen, and other printed material you’ve encountered can trace their origins to the traditional methods of printing. You might’ve not known the meaning of the word appreciation without books like dictionaries that you or your teachers have read. Thus, it only seems fair to direct at least a little appreciation to the art of printing.