This large all-metal lockup (left) weighs an estimated 71 pounds. The resulting printed broadside (right) displays 17 different metal fonts from our collection.

This large all-metal lockup (left) weighs an estimated 71 pounds. The resulting printed broadside (right) displays 17 different metal fonts from our collection.

 

Quotable broadside :

Creative letterpress workshop 

TYPE TALKS. And listening to your type is a key component of this quote-driven broadside. Choose a theme. Choose an attentive sound bite. Choose a typeface. Then show you've been listening through the way you style your type.

For a special treat, sit at the keyboard of our Intertype and cast your name and the name of your quote's author in hot metal for inclusion in your broadside. With everyone's letters lined up in the press, you'll print 2 copies as mementos of your day and proof of your powers of observation.

Good to know

  • For 6 to 15 people, age 12 and better;
  • $60 each
  • 4 working hours plus snacks.
  • For your workshop, wear comfy shoes (our concrete floor is hard) and work clothes (you will get dirty). Dress for the weather—we are not air-conditioned, and in winter the heat rises to the ceiling 20 feet up.
  • We supply all tools and materials. Be sure to bring questions, your camera, and a notebook to record your process.

Two type treats

IN THE FIRST EXAMPLE QUOTE below, the student first runs out of Ps, and then Gs, and then Hs. Running out of letters (called being "out of sorts") causes a forced turn toward a different solution. To put something in place of the missing letters, he inserts various arrows to hint which letters are missing. And it becomes a much more interesting typographic solution than if he had had all of the necessary letters.

THE SECOND EXAMPLE QUOTE below uses variable spacing and radically different typefaces to draw attention to contrasting typographic thoughts. It's a visual representation of shouts vs. whispers.

Click below to see a short film of the lock-up process for the Quotable Broadside image at the top of this page.

The type zone

THIS TYPOGRAPHICALLY-FOCUSED INGENUITY helps you get a little outside your daily comfort zone by using creative muscles you didn't know you had. One substantial change is simply getting your hands on dimensional letters to physically assemble the words of your quote. Making those words work in an interesting and memorable way, despite any accidental twists, is another shift in the zone.

We like including our Intertype C4 linecaster to give participants some hands-on with "hot" type, an experience that is hard to find as more of this old equipment drops out of use.

Craig Cutler, Ray's former student and now a professional photographer in New York and California, made this formal portrait of our 1956 Intertype.

Craig Cutler, Ray's former student and now a professional photographer in New York and California, made this formal portrait of our 1956 Intertype.

This is truly a Rube Goldberg machine : imagine typing with lots of clicking and clacking on an unusual keyboard, brass mats (miniature moulds) clinking into place, activating the elevator, catching your breath as a sharp snap plunges molten type-metal into the moulds, followed by a small shiny slab of raised letters dropping out the front into a metal tray, ready for printing.

These freshly cast Intertype slugs are ready to be inked and printed.

These freshly cast Intertype slugs are ready to be inked and printed.