Is the Fight to Revive Traditional Letterpress a Losing Battle?

A handmade Chinese type specimen book—every letter is individually pasted—from a now defunct printer in Singapore.

Ask any letterpress lover why they favor the old-school printing method, and they’ll likely tell you it’s less about the look and more about the feel. But that tactile impression was actually considered terrible printing in the past. Traditionally, letterpress aimed to print without showing any relief—a principle that has been conveniently forgotten amidst the contemporary revival of this centuries-old craft.

This is just one of the misconceptions traditional letterpress studio TypesettingSG was set up to address. In 2014, after learning how many newly established letterpresses in Singapore were unaware of the history and were giving a new generation of printers an incomplete introduction, designer Yao Yu Sun quit his design job and started his own studio in order to provide a more thorough education.

Read the full story in AIGA’s Eye on Design

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