Letterpress

Birthday Greetings!

I’m not one for deep meaning, sentimental greetings cards (you may have noticed here) and decided to make some cards to send out to friends who I think would appreciate the simplicity of a hand made card.

I decided on a very formal, slightly old-fashioned message using my bold lightly condensed woodtype. I don’t use these enough and wish I could afford some classic serif type to use with them, but ebay has become too expensive for wood type these days, with most fonts being listed with a start price of £70 and going for much, much more. I’m glad I bought these when I did.

Anyway, I run about 20 cards in a light, duck-egg blue, and added a bit of extra colour towards the end to make a rather sickly green which you’ll see in later images.

I also messed about with the inks just before I finished and wiped all the spatulas onto the inkplate, lightly rolling it out to spread it, but leaving it unmixed on the roller, and got this one:

If this looks familiar,  I will confess to being inspired by the work of Alan Kitching, whose work I saw at an exhibition in 2009.

A day or two later, when this was fully dry, I mixed up a rich warm red and added a smidgen of white and lots of transparent extender medium for good effect as I offset the second inking of the word ‘happy.’

It has a nice retro quality doesn’t it?

For me, this is absolutely bang on the money. I must say that in the last year or so of printing, this is probably the closest I have got to realising an ‘in-progress’ letterpress printing. By that I mean, something that begins in front of the press (not on screen or in a sketchbook) letting the blocks and the colours influence a very raw and basic idea, led by the fact that I have all of this stuff to hand. A lovely feeling.

I doubt anyone who receives a card will really appreciate this, but I reckon they will understand the time and effort, if not the process, which is good enough for me.

I also did a couple of variations, specifically for individuals, most of whom will have received theirs by now. Happy birthday – you know who you are…

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7 thoughts on “Birthday Greetings!

  1. These are brilliant, I would much rather one of these than some tacky extortionately priced crap from Clintons.

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