Introduction to Letterpress Course

1 Day Course : 10.30 am - 5.30 pm

There will be a lunch break  from 1.30

Tea and coffee breaks will be provided in the kitchen.

Please see instructions below for preparing a digital file in advance, this file will have to be emailed to the studio at courses (at)  48 hours before the start of the course.

This is an introductory course in the techniques of letterpress printing and polymer platemaking.  The course has a set structure with practical exercises to learn and try out this medium.

This course will explore light sensitive photopolymer plates, a new fine art printmaking technology.  Artists are now using photopolymer plates to produce a wide range of printed imagery, including letterpress. They handle both text and image very well, and are extremely user friendly.  A negative of image or text on transparent film, can be placed on the photopolymer plate and exposed to ultraviolet light.

Course contents:  

• Discussion of the history of letterpress printing and typesetting
• Inking and experimenting with the SP-20 Vandercook Proof Press
• Preparing and exposing polymer plates
• Positioning and proofing the plates on the press

Please prepare the following for the course:

Please find below instruction on how to prepare your digital file for the Photopolymer Course.

In advance of the course participant should prepare a digital file (or simply scan a black and white pen and ink drawing at 600dpi or more) that they will use to produce their plate (details below.) These files can be image or text based. These files or images should all fit within an A6 format

Because of the nature of plate making for letterpress printing, all files must be black and white (no grayscale images). It is best to keep your images simple - small details can be washed away in the plate making process. I advise that participants limit their images to pen and ink line drawings or digital black and white images without a lot of tiny detail, at least for this first attempt.

These files can take the form of:

*A black and white line drawing scanned in at 600 dpi or more.

*A pdf from an Indesign or Illustrator file. Feel free to include or use text, please keep the size to 18 point or larger for the sake of this first polymer experience.           

 If you are unable to prepare a file, examples will be available for you to try.

To review:

On Subject line please state: Photopolymer Letterpress course
Please send images to courses (at) 5 full working days before the course date.

Please note that if we have not received your image 5 full working days before the course you will be provided with a stock image to work with.  If you have booked the course less than seven days before the course date you will also be provided with a stock image as well.  

Please wear suitable clothing as you will be working with ink and other print materials. Aprons and all materials are provided.

Wear sturdy and appropriate shoes: e.g., trainers, closed leather shoes or work boots - NOT open-toed sandals, flip-flops or you might be refused entrance to the studio.

Please arrive promptly for courses as time is limited.

We look forward to seeing you.

Print Studio Co-Ordinator:

Darren Van Der Merwe

Contact Us

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