Entries filed under

Typeface (film)

“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

Wayzgoose Weekend at Hamilton Wood Type Museum

Hamilton Wayzgoose Weekend poster by Celene Aubry on Flickr

Hamilton Wayzgoose Weekend poster by Celene Aubry on Flickr

Next weekend, November 20–22, the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum will be holding its first ever Wayzgoose Weekend, with an impressive line-up of guest speakers and events…

Matthew Carter will be introducing his first wood typeface, a chromatic latin-serif face called Carter Latin. The project has been in various states of development since at least 2003, but Hamilton has recently incorporated some digital technologies to solve issues of ink trapping and registration that had delayed previous tests done with less accurate pantograph routers.

Carter Latin

Prototype font of Carter Latin, photographed in May 2009

Richard Kegler (founder of the P22 type foundry) will be sharing “his thoughts on the state of type” (according to the official program). In conversations I had with Richard recently, he said he’d probably also be talking a lot about the Western New York Book Arts Collaborative that he started in Buffalo, New York.


Designer Juliet Shen will also present a Lushootseed alphabet typeface she developed for the Tulalip Lushootseed Native American tribe in Washington state. Hamilton is cutting a new wood font of Juliet’s typeface to help give the “opportunity for this tribe to ‘manipulate’ their language by printing in their own font”. Last month, at the ATypI conference, Juliet presented some of the work she’s done on the typeface for the endangered language, but she didn’t go in to any details about the wood type project. I’ll be interested to see more info on that.

Prototype for a wood Lushootseed typeface

Prototype of a Lushootseed typeface designed by Juliet Shen for the Tulalip Tribes Lushootseed Department

Other than that, type designer Sumner Stone will join the presenters for a round-table discussion; a dinner party will take place at the Lighthouse Inn; the new Typeface documentary film about Hamilton will be screened; and several workshops and presentations using the museum’s amazing collection will be held by Richard Zauft (President of the Boston Society of Printers, Co-editor of Hamilton Wood Type: A History in Headlines, and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Emerson College), Paul Brown (current Printer in Residence at Hamilton and Associate Dean of Art at Indiana University), and Jim Moran (Hamilton’s “Printer and Archivist” — though a more appropriate title would be something like “Director”, or “Guy-Who-Keeps-The-Place-Running”).

Finally, other than an open house, print swap, and general nerdery with fellow woodtypers like David Shields and Allen Stump (among other expected attendees), I am especially looking forward to some quality time with master type cutter, former type shop foreman, and unofficial Hamilton mascot, Norb Brylski.

Norb Brylski, master router

Norb Brylski and the pantograph routers at the Hamilton Wood Type Museum

See the official program for a full schedule of the weekend’s events (also available as a PDF).

What: Hamilton Wood Type Museum’s first ever Wayzgoose Weekend
When: November 20–22, 2009
Where: Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum; 1619 Jefferson Street, Two Rivers, WI 54241 [map]
Cost: $75 ($91 with dinner)
Registration: Available online (or via the printable PDF registration form)
Accommodations: Available through the Lighthouse Inn, or try 1-Plus Rentals

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.

“Typeface” documentary on Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum

Typeface poster scan

Director Justine Nagan is now putting the finishing touches on Typeface, a feature-length documentary film about the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. The film is a production of Chicago-based Kartemquin FIlms (of Hoop Dreams fame).

I designed and printed a poster last year (pictured above) to promote the film and help raise money for the production; I’ve also done some advising on rough edits of the film. Justine and the team working on the documentary are dedicated and skilled filmmakers (not to mention great all-around people), and the edits I’ve seen so far are very promising. After having spent much time at Hamilton, I anxiously look forward to a broader public release to help spread the word about the museum.

To get info about when and where to see the film (including a screening next week in Atlanta!), buy limited-edition posters, read news updates and info on the project, and more, see the official Typeface site.

Hamilton Wood Type Museum’s 10-year anniversary

Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum 10-year anniversary poster scan

12″ × 18″ poster printed to commemorate the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum's 10-year anniversary.

On the weekend of May 29, the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, is hosting a series of events celebrating their 10-year anniversary. The celebrations include a preview screening of Typeface (the upcoming documentary on the museum), an open house at the museum, a commemorative poster show, and more.

Hamilton asked me to contribute a limited edition of prints for the poster show, and I was honored to oblige. The result is shown above.

I’ll be going out to Two Rivers a week before the show to do some work at the museum, and will probably stick around a bit afterwords too.

For more info, check out Hamilton’s official Events page.