Our work throughout these two weeks serves as a fascinating imagining of the scope of print culture. Whether it be examining an exhibition of ancient books, learning about the linotype, creating our own letterpress books, or uploading our writing digitally, we have explored the full gamut of the written word.
What these past few weeks have also taught me is that these forms work so well together. Rather than bucking against tradition or choosing a lesser form over another, there is no “better” or “worse” form in which to express oneself through text. One form may appeal to different people, but that does not show that one form is the “true form”.
The diversity of written form is nearly as diverse as those who write on it, and that is truly the beauty of the field. It is not really a question of coexistence, but of application. People will always write and written words will always be published. It may be said, however, that letterpress and traditional printing methods will remain firmly entrenched within the realm of stationary, art pieces, and independent publications, while digital methods such as blogs and online publishing platforms will be most appropriate to those consumers who choose not to pay for permanent possession of their written matter. In this sense, audiences can intersect and are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
I have had a fantastic time learning about “the Art of the Press” these past few weeks, and it has truly opened my eyes to the many ways in which the historic creation of the printing press has influenced how written word is produced to this very day. The strength of print culture to this day can be attributed to this one stroke of genius that occurred so many hundreds of years ago.