About this project
Experience the Art and Craft of Letterpress Printing on your iPadLetterMpress™ will be a virtual letterpress environment—released first on the iPad—that will allow anyone to create authentic-looking letterpress designs and prints.
The design process is the same as the letterpress process—you place and arrange type and cuts on a press bed, lock the type, ink the type, and print. You will be able to create unlimited designs, with multiple colors, using authentic vintage wood type and art cuts. And you can print your design directly from LetterMpress or save it as an image for import it into other applications.
So why bother re-creating what’s considered to be an obsolete process for the new technology of the iPad?
Actually, a letterpress and an iPad operate similarly when it comes to manipulating objects in a composition. Just like placing blocks of wood type on a surface, you drag the type images across the iPad, and then move them around to create your design. This is why the iPad would make an ideal platform for people to experience the creative aspects of letterpress and typography.
A growing interest in letterpress—but difficult to accessIn fact, letterpress has had a growing interest over the past decade amongst designers, artists, and printmakers. Call it a reaction to the “perfect” look of laser-printing. Letterpress—especially wood type—evokes a handcrafted appearance that accompanies thoughtful, visual, and literal expression.
But unfortunately, much of the letterpress’s traditional technology was sold for scrap metal and replaced with computers over the last 30 years. Wood type was burned, thrown in a landfill, or divided up as knick-knacks in antique and craft shops. The destruction of manual presses and thousands of type collections has made the tools of letterpress a scarce resource these days. What’s left of traditional letterpress machines, wood type, and printing paraphernalia now fetch premium collector prices because of the growing interest in this art. And complete sets of wood type are rare—bidding wars drive up the prices to several hundreds of dollars.
Our goal: Our goal is to give designers, artists, students, lovers of type—anyone—the ability to produce their own authentic letterpress designs and artwork. And that’s where this project starts and where we need your help!
Current feedback: We’ve shown our prototype to letterpress printers, designers, and artists, and they are just as excited as we are about this project!
NEEDED: Beautiful wood type—for everyoneBut to make LetterMpress truly beneficial to a creative audience, we need to offer an outstanding collection of authentic wood type and vintage “cuts.” We have a supporter who’s willing to part with a substantial portion of a historic collection purchased from type foundries and print shops when they closed in the ’70s and ’80s.
The amount we need and how we will use the funds: To acquire this collection, we need to raise at least $15,000. Along with these rare, complete collections of wood type, additional funds will also allow us to get help creating the high-resolution photos and scans of the wood type and their corresponding impressions.
The type that we aquire will be housed at a new letterpress co-op called the "Living Letter Press." This co-op will be a resource to designers, artists, students, and anyone interested in learning letterpress.
The end product is just the startPricing LetterMpress: We want to make LetterMpress accessible to all, and plan to price it at $5.99 for the base iPad version. We plan to include at least 12 typefaces, and about 50 art "cuts," to which we will add to as we update the app. Pricing for other platforms will be determined by the amount of functionality and size of files generated. Why we need the physical type: Having access to the physical types is a critical part of a later stage* of the LetterMpress venture, which will be to offer authentic letterpress prints from the designs submitted by LetterMpress users. Think about it: Wouldn't it be great to get -real- letterpress prints from your own designs?
Help us make this happen!With your support, we hope to make LetterMpress a creative resource for designers, artists, students, and anyone who wants to experience the art, craft, and tradition of letterpress.
What you get in return: To show our appreciation for your pledge, we’re offering some great rewards including participation in our beta program, limited edition letterpress art prints, wood type, and the opportunity to name your own typeface in the LetterMpress App.
Check out the list of rewards to see what best suits you. Whatever level you decide, we want to thank you for being part of a growing community that’s committed to keeping the art and craft of letterpress alive.
Thank you for your time!
*This later stage is not part of the initial stage of the LetterMpress project.
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