Why do you think letterpress has had a resurgence in popularity in recent times?
There has been a resurgence of interest in craft practitioners generally, or ‘makers’ as they now seem to be termed. Modern technology means that anyone can type away on a computer and produce a poster or leaflet, but to me it all has the same uniform quality. With letterpress there is a physical process, you are using your hands and eyes to move type and space around to create something that is not uniform. It has a character of its own that, when printed on the hand presses, has such a tactile quality that cannot be beaten.
Tell us about a recent project you really enjoyed working on…
We’ve just finished a project creating a hexagonal woodblock system, which was a great opportunity to rethink the conventions of letterpress. Type is traditionally cut to right angles so it can be locked up square with spacing material, preventing movement when it is printed, so tessellating hexagonal forms is quite an abstraction. The blocks were expertly laser cut by Thomas Mayo as several different elements, which can be combined to build letterforms, borders, anything really.
The project was commissioned by Greenspace for a David Chipperfield- and Karakusevic Carson-designed development near us in Hoxton, so the blocks' first use will be for this and then we will use it in teaching with a local school and our own public workshops.