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Jim Sherraden

“Pressed” show and other typographic goings-on in Denver

Denver, Colorado, has been a hotbed of activity related to typography and letterpress printing this month, with a series of type-centric events and exhibits. Designer and printer Rick Griffith of Matter has worked with the Design Council at the Denver Art Museum, AIGA Colorado, and Mohawk Paper, to organize Pressed, an exhibition of letterpress printed ephemera.

Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum's Frederic C. Hamilton building

To kick off the show, the Denver Art Museum hosted two events, including a night of printing demonstrations and a “letterpress typography symposium” with screenings of Jack Stauffacher, Printer about the San Francisco publisher Jack Stauffacher; and the recent Typeface documentary about the Hamilton Wood Type Museum.

I was honored to speak after the screenings on a panel with Jim Sherraden & Brad Vetter from the much-loved Hatch Show Print, Denver’s resident letterpress guru, Tom Parson, and Rick Griffith as moderator. As you might imagine, the discussion covered a variety of typographic topics, but seemed to have an emphasis on the history and culture of letterpress as it relates to contemporary typeface design, design education, and poster printing.

The highlight of the weekend was the opening of the Pressed exhibit and store in the Denver Pavillions. Rick and his team have collected a huge amount of contemporary letterpress work from all over the US and beyond, and presented it in an impressive gallery with giant 8-foot-tall wooden letters. Just about every inch of wall space is covered with colorful prints from Hatch Show Print, Amos Paul Kennedy Jr, the Hamilton 10th Anniversary Show, Yee-Haw Industries, and many, many, more artists/designers/printers.

The show will remain up in Denver through July 4th, after which it will continue on as a traveling show. A catalog is also being produced for the show. For more information and updates check DesignArtArtDesign, the Pressed project page on Kickstarter, and Matter on Twitter.

Pressed: an exhibition of letterpress printed ephemera

Pressed: an exhibition of letterpress printed ephemera

Pressed: an exhibition of letterpress printed ephemeraPressed: an exhibition of letterpress printed ephemera

Pressed: an exhibition of letterpress printed ephemera

Pressed: an exhibition of letterpress printed ephemeraPressed: an exhibition of letterpress printed ephemera

Pressed: an exhibition of letterpress printed ephemera

Wood type at TypeCon 2009

Typeface film poster for TypeCon 2009 by the AIGA Atlanta chapter

Attendees of this year’s TypeCon at the Grand Hyatt in Atlanta next week will have a chance to attend a few wood type related events.

First, on July 15 from 7:00 to 10:00 PM, the new Typeface documentary about the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum — which I posted about yesterday — will have its Atlanta premiere event. After a screening of the film, “a discussion with luminaries follows: Typeface director Justine Nagan; James Moran, Printer/Archivist at the Hamilton; educator David Shields, an expert in the wood type collection housed at UT Austin; Nick Sherman of MyFonts, a graphic designer specializing in experimental letterpress techniques [that’s me!]; and type designer, historian, and sign painter John Downer, designer of several popular Emigre typefaces evoking the feel of wood type”.

The screening and premiere are open to the public, and free for conference attendees. Non-TypeCon attendees can purchase tickets through the AIGA Atlanta chapter.

On July 16, Jim Sherraden from Hatch Show Print officially opens the conference with a keynote presentation about the historic print shop in Nashville, Tennessee, which I’m venturing to guess is currently the number one user of wood type in the world. For those interested in some hands-on experience, Jim will also be running the Hand Printing With Hatch Show workshop earlier that day (9:00 AM to 5:30 PM, cost: $100) at the Atlanta Portfolio Center, where attendees will have the chance to print from some of Hatch’s wood type and illustration blocks.

Later in the conference, on July 19 from 5:45 to 6:30 PM, Craig Malmrose and Gunnar Swanson from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, will give a presentation about their experiences with making wood type. I’m especially looking forward to this presentation, as I’ve also had some experience / experiments with wood type production. I’ve e-mailed with Malmrose (who also runs the Trade Union Press) in the past and we’re tentatively planning to publish some details about his work here on Woodtyper in the future.

Wood type events aside, TypeCon is obviously a great event for anyone interested in such stuff. I’ve attended every year for the past four years and always have a great time nerding out with other like-minded folks.

For more information, visit the official TypeCon site.