Last weekend I went up to Huddersfield for a weekend at the lovely West Yorkshire Print Workshop, learning the skills of bookbinding and letterpress. I started off working with the big, flatbed letterpress. This was very exciting (bright, sticky inks; huge type!) and pretty simple to use, but ultimately I think I would need longer to play around with my designs to get the best out of it. In the end, I went for a strong, simple statement, which I think makes quite a nice personal poster. Or a very large memo.
Here are some photos of the flatbed press and the fruits of my labour:
In the afternoon, I tried out the Adana press, which works with much smaller type and uses rollers to ink the plates. I typeset a short quote from Virginia Woolf’s Streethaunting (right), and loved the process of picking out the right letters from the huge case of type, trying to order them correctly (mirror-writing style), and sorting out the right leading (with real lead). It was all a lot more fiddly than working on InDesign, but also far more satisfying.
On the Sunday we learned the first steps in the art of bookbinding, and it was fantastic to see the polished results that could be achieved with just some paper, card, needle and thread, and a very sharp craft knife. I’ve just ordered myself swathes of buckram bookcloth (seen on the spines of the notebooks in the photo below), so I better get started making some more books while I still remember everything the good folk at the workshop taught me!