A Few Pressing Thoughts

It was a lot of fun working at the letter press this week and learning about all the instruments, some interesting facts about roots of different words and phrases, and of course making our very own print.

I was really excited to learn how to make a simple print. From how to arrange the letters, to how to ink the machine, and finally how to print.

I was surprised to find that many phrases that I use everyday originated from the letter case. E.g.:
-Upper case and lower case– the capital letters were stored at the top while the small letter were stored at the bottom.
-Out of sorts– to not have enough lead letters to finish a print.
-Missing the deadline– when letters and printing pieces go beyond the maximum area that a machine can print on.
-Hot off the press– well that’s pretty self explanatory.

I also enjoyed making our print. We wanted to be very innovative with out letters so we made the two sentences face each other so that they can be read by readers on either side of the page. This was a cool idea but it took some time to figure out the second sentence because it had to be both upside down and the wrong way round. But in the end, we made a pretty unique looking quote.

We first printed the quote in just red.

Then we printed the quote in just black.

Finally, we tried to overprint the red quote with the black quote. They ended up not aligning how we hoped it would because we printed the red and black on separate days so the pieces on the printing press had been moved. I still think it looks like a pretty cool print even though it was not what we had expected it to look like.

I am hoping the press has open hours because I am definitely interested in going back and making some more prints. I enjoyed the challenge of figuring everything out and the satisfaction of seeing such a unique, neat, final product.

4 Replies to “A Few Pressing Thoughts”

  1. Wow what you did with your print is incredible… I think your ability to turn the words around and print things over each other was very creative and something I had not thought of.  Even though your final print is not aligned perfectly I still think it came out so cool and interesting.  Finally, the last comment I wanted to make was that I also thought it was so interesting to learn about all the words and phrases that we use today that came from the printing press and how even with these presses being outdated we still use them and apply them to newer technologies.

  2. I love this quote and still find it puzzling.  It’s definitely a mind-bender.  I agree, it was fun to learn the trove of sayings that originated from the printing press.  I also want to go back and experiment.  It’s such a treat to have this amazing piece of technology available at our fingertips.

    1. I still find it quite puzzling yet really beautiful myself. And yes this technology is great. It was nice to do everything manually for once. We are so used to quickly typing something up on our computers then printing them out so I really appreciated seeing how things were done back in the day before printing became so easy.

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