#ThrowbackThursday: Letterpress printing

#ThrowbackThursday: Letterpress printing

Pressing on

Text: Adibah Isa Varsha Sivaram

Image: Pressing On

A documentary on letterpress printing provides an inside look to why craftsmen, both old and new, still continue to go back to this traditional method

It's the 'in' thing these days isn't it, being a craftsman. From flowers and candles to ceramics and leather, everyone fancies themselves a throwback session to days of yore, where getting your hands dirty resulted in the greater good for the community — or at the very least, yourself.

Pressing On, an upcoming documentary, looks at the survival of letterpress printing. In this digital age where pixels trump the press, how and why has the craft survived?

Our curiosity was sparked when director Erin Beckloff cited some defining works that utilised the age-old process. From the Declaration of Independence to Elvis Presley's concert posters, the historical value of letterpress is impressive, and it's going to get some renewed attention in this documentary.

Pressing On

When it comes to efficiency, however, letterpress printing is a craft that pales in comparison to its digital counterpart. Using a printing press, a raised and inked surface makes repeated impressions onto sheets of paper, and voilà – after a rigorous process, the print is made.

Pressing On

Despite its drawbacks, there is a unique sense of satisfaction in the tactile nature of the craft. Coupled with its vintage aesthetic, Pressing On is the perfect pick for #ThrowbackThursday.

To see last week's #ThrowbackThursday, click here