TECHNICAL LETTERPRESS ALL-OUT offers a week-long hands-on introductory workshop experience to designers, librarians, historians, printmakers, hobbyists or anyone seeking to understand or get into letterpress printing. By exploring many different press models, users can easily compare and contrast the pros and cons, and adaptability of each press to their own working style or needs. Class size limited to 6 people. All tools and workshop materials provided. The details are a bit tentative to allow Lead Graffiti to accommodate individual requirements. As of March 1, this is what we are seeing. Feel free to email us with questions or issues.

Monday : Letterpress 101

  • an overview of letterpress, its history, terms, and equipment with a focus on tabletop and proofing presses; reference handout provided

  • the hows and whys of hand set metal & wood type composition and lockup, maintenance of equipment and type

  • quality control and troubleshooting, plus printing practice time

Tuesday : Vandercook and cylinder presses

  • Vandercook press operation (a hand-cranked SP15 and an automatic Universal III), terms and maintenance; reference handout provided

  • use of handset form vs. photopolymer, printing and color registration, adjustments to cylinder packing and roller heights, ink mixing

  • quality control, troubleshooting, and printing practice time

Wednesday : floor-model platens

  • setting up to print, score, or die cut on a motorized 10 x 15 Chandler & Price, a popular workhorse press for job printers and designers; reference handout provided

  • use of various registration methods, adjusting packing, and maintenance;

  • quality control, troubleshooting, and printing practice time

Thursday : iron hand presses

  • getting physical old-school style on our two iron hand presses (1928 Albion and 1869 Washington Hoe); reference handout provided

  • use of dampened paper, locking up and inking a form, use of frisket and tympan, adjusting packing, registration options

  • quality control, troubleshooting, and printing practice time

Friday : Library of Congress, Washington, DC

  • carpool to Washington, DC, for the day to visit the Rare Book Reading Room at the Library of Congress for inspiration; bring valid id for free library card required for entrance

  • hands-on items can include historical books by Galileo, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili published by Aldus Manutius, The Book of Trades, and contemporary works of Ken Campbell and Cranach Press among others

  • visit to nearby Folger Shakespeare Library gallery exhibit

Saturday / Sunday

  • we offer these 2 days for free for those signed up for the full 5-day

  • work on a personal printing project or collaborate on a project with classmates

  • additional experiences to enhance the main daily topics include: overview of Lead Graffiti’s creative letterpress workshops (Meander book , H.N. Werkman); hands-on experience on our Intertype C4 linecaster; demos of Oswego paper cutter, paper drill, perforator and other useful items; demos of our high speed 10 x 15 Heidelberg Windmill and Miehle V-50