The printing press is on a rollercoaster. It was a luxury, then it became a key role in educating the world, then it became a decent job, a mass production using the linotype… and then the digital age introduced itself and the printing press era became seemingly obsolete. It’s only in recent years that the printing press has taken another turn and become a much-appreciated art.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve learned an overwhelming amount about the information revolution. The thing about handset printing is that it’s time consuming. And like the digital age, people are all about the now. How can we mass print a newspaper or a book in fifteen minutes? By using technology. Though technology might be easier, the fascination and appreciation with the letterpress is still alive. The art of the press portrays history, tells a story, and humbles the technological revolution.
Handset letterpress is personal; personal like receiving a hand-printed wedding invitation or a baby announcement. It’s sleek and aesthetically enjoyable to keep for years. It’s diverse in fonts, styles, and designs. It’s more than any Microsoft Word application can do.
I’ve (somewhat surprisingly) enjoyed learning about the printing press. I love reading and partially because I love holding a book and picking out a book on a sea of shelves. Reading thousands of different stories all composed of twenty-six letters. Learning about the art of the press added an entirely new admiration for my love of books and writing.