Monday, January 21, 2008


*type-high*: Experiments in Typographic Ornament on Letterpress
by Robin McDowell - University of Pennsylvania School of Design (Fine Arts, 2008)

*type-high:* Experiments in Typographic Ornament on Letterpress, is a four month study of the production of new wood type designs in today’s digital era. Traditional milling methods were used to prepare cuts of end-grain hard maple to type-high thickness (.9186 inches, the height of press rollers). The blocks were engraved with a Universal Laser Systems X-660, a 60 watt CO2 laser cutter to create the original ornamental letterform designs in relief. These designs represented the names of friends and colleagues who influenced the course of the study. Hand-drawn sketches were scanned and translated into Adobe Illustrator files, readable by the laser cutter. The resulting blocks were shellac sealed and printed with acrylic inks on Arches Cover rag paper on a Vandercook Universal SP60 letterpress at the University of Pennsylvania’s Common Press. The broadsides and an accompanying narrative are housed in a custom made folio.

Laser Cutter Images here.