Nicolas Rodriguez Fuchs wrote us from Argentina, introducing one inspiring project, a documentary about the present of woodtype presses in Argentina. You can help this project come to completion at:losultimosdoc.com.ar
Buenos Aires deepest suburbs, July 2013. Three old print shops disputes the printing of cumbia and boxing posters. Second and third family generations keep these old presses going on printing in the way that workshops worked 100 years ago: the same machines, letterpress and workers, as if time had not passed. But they are getting old, machines are breaking and workshops agonize. They are aware that the road ahead is short. They are the last letterpressers in Argentina.
However, in the chaos of Buenos Aires downtown, some young designers started printing posters and cards with this ancient technique. In their small ateliers they combine the old craft with modern materials and designs, keeping it alive. Inspired and energetic they face the limitations and reflect about the value of time.
These two worlds combines old knowledge with new visions. A new dimension, where time limits get diffuse. A new voice appears, which includes the workshops slow music and gives eternity to feelings experienced for all those years.
Endless letterpress is a film about typography, but above all, about a group of people passionate for an ancient craft. Will these old presses and workshops survive in a new art? Or it’s a new fad?
This the official trailer for SIGN PAINTERS a documentary by Faythe Levine & Sam Macon. For information regarding screenings, and other news please visit signpaintermovie.com
About the project…
There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards, and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade.
In 2010 Directors Faythe Levine and Sam Macon, with Cinematographer Travis Auclair, began documenting these dedicated practitioners, their time-honored methods, and their appreciation for quality and craftsmanship. Sign Painters, the first anecdotal history of the craft, features the stories of more than two dozen sign painters working in cities throughout the United States. The documentary and book profiles sign painters young and old, from the new vanguard working solo to collaborative shops such as San Francisco’s New Bohemia Signs and New York’s Colossal Media’s Sky High Murals.
The book published by Princeton Architectural Press in November 2012 features a foreword by legendary artist (and former sign painter) Ed Ruscha. We encourage you to pick up a copy at your local book shop, or directly from Princeton Architectural Press -goo.gl/aTZLq
Great video showing an amazing work. David A. Smith is a traditional sign-writer/designer specialising in high-quality ornamental hand-crafted reverse glass signs and decorative silvered and gilded mirrors. David recently produced a wonderful turn-of-the-century, trade-card styled album cover for popular American singer/songwriter John Mayer.
This film captures the ‘Behind The Scenes’ creation of the ‘Born & Raised’ and ‘Queen of California’ artwork, as well as 2 unique reverse glass panels, hand-crafted in England by David A. Smith.
inspiring video from Jon Contino, an extremely gifted artist.
As a New York native, Jon Contino has been under the influence of corporate mass marketing and inspirational street art since his first breath. Not surprisingly, he has garnered considerable attention for his unique approach to design utilizing hand-drawn lettering and typographic illustration in conjunction with a modern, yet minimalistic sensibility.
He has received numerous accolades for his fusion of old and new world aesthetics and continues to influence modern trends in graphic design and apparel design.
Jon resides in Brooklyn with his wife Erin where he works not only as a freelance illustrator, but also as Co-Founder and Creative Director of menswear brand CXXVI Clothing Company.
Typesetting TV is a web-based documentary series highlighting graphic designers and the cities in which they live.
Here is Episode 1:
There are few designers with a more unique story than Austrian designer Elisabeth Kopf. From working as a taxi driver in Vienna, to becoming a self taught photographer in Hong Kong, her path towards design could hardly be called traditional. However, after the birth of her son Luc, her natural talent in the field of graphic design was brought to life. What followed was an explosion of originality—and a completely new take on graphic design. The music packaging in this video is a perfect example of her originality. Beautifully conceptual and innovative, this project not only shows the power of design, but also the importance of looking at the world—and the design brief—differently. Check out Elisabeth’s amazing work on her website: elisabethkopf.com Note: Special thanks to the wonderfully talented Elisabeth Kopf and Kaethe Ivansich, as well as Elisabeth’s son Luc for their amazing hospitality. It was truly a highlight of season 1. To stay up to date, sign up for our mailing list at our website typesetting.tv or follow us on twitter @typesettingtv Music by motionless – motionlessmusic.com
In episode 2, we visit Basics09 in Berlin, Germany to talk about their unique work, mixing print and web and the supreme importance of content in graphic design.
We also discuss the inspiring environment of creativity, community and innovation that Berlin has cultivated.
To see more of Basics09′s fantastic work, visit basics09.de
Special thanks to Basics09 for their participation, as well as supplying the supplementary footage of their work.
A recent Thursday at 10:23 a.m.: In the basement of Arion Press, where they still print books the old-fashioned way, Lewis Mitchell slid open a box of parts used to change the font size on the Monotype casting machines he has maintained for 62 years.
“I thoroughly enjoy the sound of the machines turning, and seeing the type come out is a joy,” Mitchell said.
He can tell by the sound of the moving springs and levers if something is awry with his machines — a skill he said all good technicians should have. Four different owners have run the business since Mitchell walked through the doors at age 18, and he has had several opportunities to leave, including a scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that he declined. Now 80, Mitchell can’t imagine retiring from the job he loves so much.
When Mitchell started making this kind of type, it was really the only way to print things, and now he doesn’t know how many books he’s helped print over the decades. There were once type-casting operations in most major U.S. cities, but now the practice is almost extinct. There are only two companies left in the world that cast type for printing presses, and Arion is by far the largest.
Mitchell has four grown children and nine grandchildren, but he calls the 20 type-casting machines his “babies.” “I treat them with kindness. I don’t use a hammer on them or an oversized screwdriver.” The first machine, which started the company during 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, is still its best machine — proof that Mitchell’s methods work. “My dad taught me from square one if you going to do something, you’re going to do it right or you don’t do it.”
Petter Eldin, a filmmaker living in China, recently made a series of films including Neville Brody and Niels Shoe Meulman’s work for Beijing Design Week.
In October 2011, Converse proposed an unconventional approach to support China’s first-ever Design Week launching in Beijing. Converse created “OFF CANVAS“, a street-level exhibition of typography featuring six international and local artists notorious for their artistry of words. Culling from the diverse worlds of graphic design, art, and graffiti, the installations revealed communities and canvases where China’s emerging scenes in indie music, art, fashion and skate are based.
Alongside his studio work Neville Brody is a passionate voice in the design community, an educator and a spokesman for counter culture in the creative industries.
Shoe selected the rooftop medium of Dashilar as a modern replication and nod to Chinese sidewalk calligraphy. The work is an interpretation of personal identity – his writing name – which he has honed internationally over two decades from the street to gallery. In his work, Meulman mimics the Chinese tradition of water as ink and sidewalk as paper, yet in the craft and tools of his distinctive trade.
Bleisatz Werkstatt Tutorial, a brilliant film based on a seminar from The University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf called “Hot Type – Hand and Work.”
Video Production: Lukas Loss & Roman Tönjes
Sound Design: Roman Tönjes
Yannick mathey is the author of an amazing application, developed in Processing, for his diploma. Prototyp-0 is designed for the drawing of characters with an automated process, that greatly speeds up the creation process, thus generating in a very short time a multitude of fonts. The user can set twenty parameters (fat, hunting, x-height, wheelbase, etc.). You can check his website at www.yannickmathey.com/prototyp while the app (for MAC and PC) is not yet available. Looking forward to see some interesting results with this.
The inspiration for this typeface came from the epigraph on a frame of a nineteenth century painting. I was fascinated by the peculiar capitals of the inscription. The high contrast, and the overall quirkiness, especially the tail of the R and the oblique stems on the M, was interesting.
I decided to draw a display font with high contrast and a vertical axis, in a reference to the transitional form. Still I wanted to capture the spirit of the original letters, which to me are so imbued with Romanticism. This approach allowed for some exuberance on the regular style, but also led to more calligraphic letterforms in the italic – in which “the flow of the curves” lead the way.
To add to this epigraphic nature there is a number of ornaments that accompany words accordingly to their uppercase or lowercase form. For versatility there’s also a good amount of ligatures, alternative glyphs, and a special set of ornamental numbers.
Typeface design: Rui Abreu
Movie trailer: Rui Abreu