Show: Move Along, Nothing Twee Here. The Print Project.
Tell: “The poster defines how we see our letterpress work; it’s a statement of intent. We seek to only carry out work that is thoughtful, responsible and useful but if we can throw an element of humour into the mix as well then we’re (hopefully) all laughing.
“We’ve witnessed an awful lot of twee craft over the last three or four years and whilst there’s nothing wrong with craft per se, it can seem an incredibly passive and inward looking way to just keep on consuming endless ‘stuff’. So the poster politely states that we ‘don’t do that’ with its tongue firmly planted in its cheek. We want a better world, and whilst soft furnishings might make the ride more comfortable we’d rather be using our work to put forward alternative viewpoints that give an insight into what this ‘better world’ might be like to live in.
“Our letterpress kit consists of some very old machines that are operated by hand, foot and eye. It’s a bit of a cliché but they were ‘built to last’, with some of our machines having survived two World Wars. What does this say about the throw away culture we live in today? We actively seek out and salvage equipment that is destined for the scrap heap. We use discarded inks and paper offcuts when appropriate. Then there’s the type – which has passed through so many hands in its life and it still keeps on giving day in day out.
“Letterpress is typography. But typography is nothing without words, meanings or ideas that draw us into a constant battle of deciding what we want to say and finding a way to say it using what limited means we have available. Letterpress forces you to find new ways of working as there is no ‘undo’ button—if it doesn’t work you have to put everything back and start again. Not much fun if you’re working with 8pt type and have the attention span of a gnat!
“Nothing Twee Here was printed in two passes as we’d run out of E’s (no joke) with the size of the poster defined by the maximum printable area of the press, giving us this ‘broadside’ style of poster. Whilst new digital typefaces are being created on a daily basis we’re pre-occupied with discovering old type and putting it back to work. And whilst there is a digital version of the typeface used on the poster (Grotesque No.9 by Stephenson Blake of Sheffield) our woodtype version has had a previous life we know nothing about and is far sexier, even more so in Pantone 877 silver on a lovely Cairn Natural Dark Grey 270gsm board!”
Info: The Print Project is a letterpress print studio based in Bradford. It’s a collective that actively salvages, recycles and re-uses print equipment, which is rendered obsolete by commercial interests. The poster will be available for sale, alongside other pieces of work, at the Leeds Print Festival, taking place between Friday 27th and Tuesday 31st January 2012.
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