Thoughts on Our Richmond Premiere of ‘Pressing On: The Letterpress Film’

Letterpress Printing

We’re honored so many aficionados of craftsmanship showed up to see our premiere of Pressing On: The Letterpress Film. No spoilers in this blog post, but the film really made it clear the lengths an intrepid band of craftswomen and men will go to keep this part of history alive and working.

Letterpress equipment, metal and wood type are sitting in basements, warehouses, flea markets and landfills all over the country. In one part of the film, two craftsmen are examining old font books and remarking that they have a few of this letterform and a few of that. What struck me is that they don’t have the other 22 letters of that particular font. They’re not sure if it still exists at all.

Time waits for no one but, as the film makes clear, this group of men and women are succeeding at keep letterpress around for many generations to come.

This from the film’s website – “The modern world was born on a printing press. Once essential to communication, the 500-year-old process is now in danger of being lost as its caretakers age. From self-proclaimed basement hoarders to the famed Hatch Show Print, ‘Pressing On: The Letterpress Film’ explores the question: why has letterpress survived in a digital age?”

A huge thank you to Co-Director Erin Beckloff and Producer Kevin Grazioli for joining us and answering the many interesting questions in the Q&A after the film. Many thanks to our co-sponsor David Shields and the VCUarts Department of Graphic Design, especially Jamie Mahoney and the students in the letterpress class who printed the amazing posters and volunteered at the Byrd Theatre.

Resources for our fellow fans of the craft of letterpress

Briar Press is a community of “thousands of printers and artists dedicated to the preservation of letterpress.” It’s an active community website which also has The Printer’s Yellow Pages to help you find all sorts of resources, museums, etc. Click Here >>

Neenah Paper has a “Beauty of Letterpress” website and online gallery built to honor and preserve letterpress history. Click Here >>

A great article from The Columbus Dispatch. Click Here >>

Of course, if you’re anywhere near central Virginia and want to stop by to see the letterpress equipment at Worth Higgins & Associates. Get in touch with us and we’ll arrange a visit with our Page Stationery craftspeople. Click Here >>

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