The University of the arts

Letterpress Printmaking
The University of the Arts

ADSN 5079N 01 Letterpress Printmaking

ADSN 5079N 01

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Marisha Simons



Spring 2019

  • (Jan. 29 to Apr. 9)
  • Tue 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • 0.00 Credits
  • 0.00 Credits
  • Tuition: $350 / Fees: $60
The traditional art of printing from engraved plates and metal type is explored using the University's collection of metal and wood typefaces. Create several printed works via typesetting and the Vandercook Proof Press, allowing for prints up to 22 inches by 24 inches. Design custom polymer plates and perform multicolor printing. Students should anticipate additional costs for materials based on the scope of their individual projects.

Course Overview

You will learn the basics of letterpress printing through demonstrations, guided projects and hands-on experience. Letterpress printing is ideal for creating broadsides, posters, books, cards, personalized letterhead and more. Using the University’s wide array of lead and wood type and engraved imagery, you will explore composition, typography, and color.

What will you learn in this course?

  • Have the skills to plan a multilayered print
  • Understand how to hand set lead and wood type
  • Be able to operate the University’s four different Vandercook presses

What will you do in class?

  • Technical Demonstrations
  • Presentations: Sample Projects and Inspiration
  • Critiques
  • You will have the opportunity to do one or two of your own personal projects, depending upon the complexity and size of the print run of each project.

What topics will be covered?

studio, shop safety, type organization: type cases setting type, press lock up Project planning Ink mixing: color overlays and transparency Polymer plates: digital applications

Suggested Readings or Link to Other Content:

Recommended Texts: Maravelas, Paul. Letterpress Printing: A Manual for Fine Press Printers. Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2005

White, Jessica. Letterpress Now. North Carolina: Lark Crafts Press, 2013



Inks, lead and wood type, cleaning agents and all equipment will be provided as part of your course fee.

You will be required to purchase paper and some additional supplies (see syllabus for full list.)

Please come to class prepared with your ideas, text and images so that you may most efficiently utilize press time in the studio.