Letterpress Printing: Past, Present, Future

cover of book Letterpress Printing showing a set of spacing
Cover of Letterpress Printing: Past, Present, Future, ed. by Caroline Archer-Parré and James Mussell (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2023).

I’m really pleased to see Letterpress Printing: Past, Present, Future out in the world. Co-edited with Caroline Archer-Parré and published by Peter Lang, the book is a collection of essays that address the state of letterpress printing today. It’s the result of the AHRC Research Network of the same name (Letterpress Printing: Past, Present, Future: AH/P013473/1) that ran from 2017-2018 (details here) and brings together many of the network’s contributors. There are chapters on preserving presses and type and the many ways presses and type are currently being used. There are accounts of how designers finally got access to the composing room as well as various artistic interventions into tyographic practice. The book ranges from a survey of surviving press rooms in institutions of higher education in the UK to the range of people working with letterpress in Portugal to the history of a set of hanzi types currently preserved at Te Wai-te-ata Press in New Zealand. The table of contents is below:


Joanna Drucker, ‘Letterpress Aesthetics’


Caroline Archer-Parré and James Mussell, ‘Introduction: Letterpress Printing: Past, Present, Future’

Part one: Letterpress in Transition

Chapter one:
Catherine Dixon, ‘Designers in the Composing Room: A Progressive Tale of Typographic Transgression’

Chapter two:
Angie Butler, ‘A Tangible Space: Letterpress Printing within Artists’ Books and Small Publishing Practice’

Chapter three:
Alexander Cooper, Rose Gridneff, Andrew Haslam, ‘An Education in Letterpress: Charting the History of Letterpress Education in the United Kingdom and Ireland’

Part two: Letterpress and Preservation

Chapter four:
Patrick Goossens, ‘Preserving Historically Correct Letterpress Printing in Theory and Practice’

Chapter five:
Alan Marshall, ‘Between Theory and Practice: Bringing Letterpress and Digital Together in Printing Museums’

Part three: Letterpress’s Future Potential

Chapter six:
Nick Thurston, ‘Inmediate Writing: Pavel Büchler and the Logic of Letterpress ‘

Chapter seven:
Pedro Amado, Vitor Quelhas and Catarina Silva, ‘Letterpress in Portugal: The Future of Design and Its Engagement with Past Printing Techniques’

Chapter eight:
Richard Kegler, ‘P22 Blox: Space-Age Letterpress Modularity ‘

Chapter nine:
Sydney J. Shep and Ya-Wen Ho, ‘East Meets West: Merging Technology, Language and Culture’