Last day of class = marathon printing party. First we brainstormed songs and created a spotify playlist. Then, using Globe Poster wood type, visual language, and ornaments, we designed two posters that could serve as promotions for the playlist–just like Globe Poster did for 80 years, with showcards that advertised everything from local carnivals and church fairs to car races and R & B, rock, funk, go-go and hip-hop concerts. As an extra challenge, each group of poster designers had to incorporate a Globe-ish word into their design: “shake” for one group, “wild” for the other.
Screen-printed backgrounds courtesy of the Globe interns… Gracias!
A timeline of significant events, both large and small, in the history of printing and publishing in Baltimore! Our choice of events was, of course, limited by how much we could produce in just two weeks. Many of the works mentioned in the timeline we also examined in the original in class.
After a whirlwind introduction to letterpress printing with Mary Mashburn and Allison Fisher of MICA, students each set by hand several hundred characters in a typeface of their choosing (within certain parameters of size, etc.), designed a page, and printed it on MICA’s suite of sweet, sweet Vandercooks. With able assistance from the fabulous Globe interns.
This limited edition of post-bound books are available for purchase for $20 at the George Peabody Library, the Evergreen Museum & Library, and the Homewood Museum. Your purchase will support innovative, hands-on classes in Johns Hopkins’ Sheridan Libraries and University Museums… what more could you ask!
Before the printing press was invented, information was not accessible to the common people in the form of books. Scribes had to work very hard and long to copy parts of a book, making books extremely expensive. In addition, there was no way of really knowing how exactly a text was copied. The printing press gave us the ability to distribute books and newspapers to people, by letting people create letterpress templates and then distribute multiple copies.
For instance, there was now the ability for books such as the bible to be printed in languages besides Latin, which was a language few people spoke or read. People from countries such as Germany or France could read these texts in their vernacular, and actually form opinions that were not given to them by higher powers, such as priests or royalty. People were also able to form their own opinions about local events and world events alike.
Here is a photo of a moveable type, where a worker composes and locks movable type into the bed of a press, inks it, and presses paper against it to create an impression on the paper. This allowed us to make hundreds of copies of different templates.
And this is a photo of what happens to one’s hand when using the letter press!
While not as easy as printers, I think we can all agree that the letter press beats scribing!
Letters from the Letterform Archive.