Baby Stepping into Letterpress

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I am super excited to be writing this post, as this marks the beginning of my letterpress documentation. You get to sit in shotgun and watch me stumble and learn how to letterpress.

If some of you were curious – I am hoping to be able to create my own stationary. I am especially interested in creating letterpressed cards featuring whimsical, weird messages (think unicorns, narwhals, and such) and/or science-nerd-love cards. I am more than slightly obsessed with the beautiful texture letterpress provides, which is unachievable through screen printing. Correct me if I’m wrong.

How did this interest begin?

Well, I surprised my boyfriend with a letterpress workshop last year as a present. Then several months later, I took it upon myself to learn screen printing. I slowly developed a strong desire to create adorable cards, but realized most places producing beautiful, imprinted cards used some type of press. So of course, I immediately signed up for a letterpress class.

Let me introduce you to a couple of my friends over at Spudnik Press:

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Meet The Pearl. By spinning the wheel on the side, you move the rollers up and down so it collects ink from the circle above. You are also probably not paying attention to what I am saying at this point, and instead thinking about Pirates of the Caribbean. I don’t blame you.

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Meet her sister, The Pilot. She operates with the side lever, which makes it a tad clunky to use. Moving the lever down brings the two rollers up (thus inking the letters) and your paper is pressed into the type. At the roller’s highest point, it makes contact with the inked surface, thus collecting ink. When the lever is brought down, it sets a new layer of ink on the type and your piece is moved away from the set type.

As you can see, my project was set up on The Pilot. We were only focusing on setting Linear Type: having the same type of character and point height on the same line.

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While setting the type, it was super important to make sure everything fit tightly and that no pieces could fall out when lifted. I even snuck in some thin pieces of copper to make the type more snug.

The wood pieces surrounding the type are known as furniture. These are blocks of wood used to help hold the type in place.

The little alligator teeth are known as quoins. These are screwed tightly together using a quoin key (not pictured), so as to lock the furniture in place.

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I didn’t personally mix any ink this time around, but a few of my classmates mixed colors together based on the Pantone Color Guide. In letterpress printing, a little bit of ink goes a very long way.

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And here we go! First official print job ever – a simple business card for my blog and dream print company.

Baby steps, y’all.

Resource Run 07/26/15

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++ Fashion ++
I’ve been looking for a pair of light wash jeans that would look amazing with some brown, short boots. I may have found a stunning winner from Judi Rosen of Wicker Park, Chicago.
++ Blog/Coding ++
Too be honest, still trying to figure this article out. I’ve never thought to figure out a hierarchy for my tags, but I think once I get to truly designing my own blog layout, this is something I would like to focus on as part of that project.
++ Letterpress ++
I am currently three classes in deep with my beginner’s letterpress course and am absolutely in love. Another part of my secret dream is to have my own letterpress studio that creates custom letterpress materials for events and distribute my own designs to stores. Anyways, enough dreaming for now, but I did come across this great post about 7 places to find a letterpress. Holding on to this one, for sure.
++ Design ++
If you haven’t noticed already, I’ve been using this blog to minimally practice some flat design skills (cough, this post, cough). I came across this infographic about flat design when I created my own first infographic, and was sure to incorporate some elements into my image. I hope you find this as useful as I did.
Let me know if you found any links this week that fall under these categories! I also wanted to share my official Space Thyme Pinterest with y’all, where these links will definitely live along with other things I find fascinating (Tswift styles? Hollaaa).

Resource Run 07/19/15

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++ Blog/Coding ++

Some prime advice from the lovely lady of Its Pink Pot on CSS tricks to transform the look of your blog.

++ Typography ++

Who knew that a special form of font was created for vision tests? Learn more about optotypes here. 

++ Design ++ 

Little does my boyfriend know that I am doing a bit of promotion on his behalf – not that he needs it for his already well-read article on the 5 principles of User Friendly Design in action. But seriously, give it a read. Clear, succinct advice that can apply to any designer’s work.

I also spoke to soon last week. Another excellent tool for your toolkit in Flat UI design for selecting colors. Apparently these colors are deemed best for Flat Design due to their lack of saturation.

++ Print ++

I stumbled upon HelloLucky, a letterpress card maker, during my recent trip to San Francisco and was hit with a smattering of envy. This is what I strive to achieve, I do not lie.

++ Fashion ++

Speaking of envy, Sade of In my Sunday Best poses in a glorious jean dress with an adorable head scarf. These are going on my next month purchasing list for sure…

Resource Run 07/12/15

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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Today is Sunday Funday! For now my links will be generated on a weekly Sunday basis, ready for you to dive in at the beginning of the week.

++ Motivation ++

Sean Wes, whose website has officially made me want to learn handlettering, asks of us in his podcast to set larger than life goals that are outside our reality. I was skeptical at first, but I actually highly recommend a listen. Being someone who is lost in life, the consistent questioning of “WHY?” is important.

++ Fashion ++

Damsel in Dior’s recent post featuring a gorgeous white dress (with a price tag out of my dreams) has officially made me go on a white dress binge.

++ Design ++

An article on the key features of flat design that is all the rage these days. On my to do list to practice.

And this is going in my toolkit for future use: Flat UI Color picker.

++ Print ++

My newest obsession is definitely letterpress. I find the indentation that a Vandercook-4 can make into paper simply irresistible.  Double Trip Press, based out of Chicago, stokes the fires.

That’s it folks! Stay tuned for the next Resource Run.