Friday, August 20, 2010

Death becomes... (Content Generation)

"Letterpress in India is.. DEAD".
Sure, sounds like a bold statement. But it is pretty much the truth and rather sad one.
Today letterpress (whatever I've seen on blogs etc.) being done abroad is largely done with polymer plates. I am personally not a big fan of these polymer plates, they have moved away from the whole hands on approach. Creating art works on the computer and then printing them using a letterpress is just bastardizing the medium.
Very few people still chose to actually tediously compose type, set it and print.
And that is why once i again..i do repet myself.. Letterpress is dead. But is there hope for revival? Probably. 
In India however the future is it what you may. One of the main reasons is that the people who still do letterpress printing in India no longer find it commercially viable and for them it is a means to an end. So, if it means that they cannot make money from letterpress printing they will shift to offset printing.

With these things mine the content i have generated for my Artist Book is based on some of the things that people have said about letter press, some haikus about death.
Here are a few: 
Norb Brylski, Retired Pantograph Operator (movie: Typeface): "I am good at what I do because I am the last one. There's no one really that I can compare myself to." 
Anil Joshi, letterpress Printer Mumbai: "There were 50 printers on my street now I am the only one left." 
I have also had the opportunity to speak to Pierre Tzenkoff, Art Director who has worked for 7years on a book for luxury brand Goyard.

His insights have been amazing and a huge part of giving a small positive angel to my book. I'd like to quote a line from one of his emails. The way he writes is just as interesting as what he is talking about. 
"Letterpress is beautiful, the text is different, it has a real emotion, the blacks are very dark and the way it goes inside the paper is amazing. letterpress is an art.
I'm spending hours working on the colour of the black, how deep it goes inside the paper...and each page is different."

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmmmmmm.
    I know 2 operations that are doing very well with Letter Press. One of them being Superior Letter Press, Cornucopia, Wi.
    cut/paste below link. . . . very interesting links!