A Little Taste of Typography History
Posted February 1, 2010on:
This morning, in History of Graphic Design, we discussed the Industrial Revolution and its affect on graphic design and typography. Everytime I talk about wood type and traditional type setting, I get a tiny burst of energy. I am constantly inspired by historical design processes – it is a driving force to my own work and interests.
Most of the students I have had, know how much I enjoy Hatch Show Print out of Nashville, TN. Hatch is one of the oldest surviving and continuosly running print shops in America. They opened their doors in the late 1800s and have designed posters for tons of famous musicians and events. There is something about the purity of letterpress printing. It takes time and thought to lay out, but also breaks many of the typography rules we are taught as designers. Letterpress, in my opinion, is design meets art meets history. It is amazing that traditional letterpress, like Hatch, Standard Deluxe and Hamilton Wood Type, is done exactly the same way as it was done 100s of years ago.
Another great letterpress shop is in the tiny town of Waverly, Alabama. Standard Deluxe is a small print shop in a converted barn in middle of nowhere Alabama (about 20 minutes away from where I went to school). They have gained national recognition for the prints and posters, and are worth looking at.
Hamilton Wood Type Museum is the last traditional letterpress I am going to share. It is a true American treasure since they cut a lot of the wood and metal typefaces used throughout history. It is located in Two Rivers, WI and has been converted into a museum full of type and printing. Sounds like fun – maybe we should get a group together for a road trip???
Hamilton has a new documentary out titled Typface. It is in limited release right now, but I am so excited to see it. I will keep you all posted about when it comes back to Chicago.
Here is the link to the trailer!