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The Letterpress Print Workshop at the National College of Art and Design

Letterpress course participants and their posters

Here are some photos of the participants of the two courses with the posters they designed and printed - mostly using the large selection of wood type available in the press. 















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Work in Progress - Letterpress Courses in July

Here are some photos from our two recent short courses in letterpress which ran from 11-13th July and 16-18th July. On day one everyone set a small paragraph of 14pt metal type to begin and then on day two and three they had a chance to print their own poster designs. It was a busy few days as you can see!

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Letterpress Courses

So our two letterpress courses were really well attended and seemed to be quite the success! Thank you to all the participants for the lovely feedback. I'll be posting some photos of the work done as well as some images of Frances Breen's course in Book Arts. In the meantime here are some of the members of the first course and their posters.

Pictured above are Nick, EimearJean, Kim, Stephen & Clare.

Ulysses Strands at the Print Museum

Ulysses Strands is a series of letterpress posters designed and printed by Jamie Murphy and Mary Plunkett at Distillers Press, National College of Art and Design, based on tweet-length excerpts from Ulysses, chosen by Steve Cole. Steve is a volunteer at the Baltimore Museum of Industry’s print shop (Maryland, USA) and creator of LiberateUlysses. Together, their vision was to create a typographical exploration of the richness and complexity of Joyce’s work through variations in type, composition and colour. The exhibition of the handset wood type posters will mark the first Bloomsday since the copyright on James Joyce's works expired earlier this year. Each poster is in a limited edition of 20. /


The posters are for sale at €30 each or €120 for the set of 5. They are printed on 170gsm Zerkall mould made letterpress paper and measure 53cm x 76cm.


We're also having a Bloomsday event in the Museum tomorrow, Saturday 16th June: This Bloomsday join us for a delightful reading from Joyce by Seán Sills, sample Bloom's lunch of Burgundy and Gorgonzola, pull a print of a Ulysses excerpt and view our exhibition of new letterpress posters - Ulysses Strands. The Museum is open from 12-5pm and the reading will take place at 2pm.



Students from Auburn University Alabama visit

Ross Heck and GDES students from Auburn University, Alabama visiting and getting a chance to print at Distillers Press, NCAD, Dublin, under the watchful eye of Sean Sills.

Letterpress Printing: Introductory

CEAD at NCAD are running this course.
DATES: 11 July – 13 July (FEE €165)
TUTOR: Mary Plunkett (SD/602)
Designed for beginners or those with some knowledge of typography, graphic design or relief printing, this new course offers a fantastic opportunity to gain access to the Distiller’s Press, the only working letterpress facility in third level education in Ireland.
The course will begin with an induction to the workshop, an overview of letterpress printing with examples of artists’ & designers’ work, an explanation of hand setting and an introduction to the use of the press. Following the first day’s introduction participants will cover two-colour printing and the use of wood and metal type to create their own work under supervision. This may take the form of prints, posters, simple books, cards or stationery, printed in a small run.
The course will provide an excellent overview of the processes and materials involved in letterpress printing. A certain amount of quality paper will be provided but additional sheets may be purchased during the course if needed.

You can download the CEAD PDF from here that contain the form that you need to fill out if you are interested. Click here to DOWNLOAD PDF

National College of Art & Design
100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8
Telephone: 01 636 42 14
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Crafting Type

(Jamie Murphy poster for Crafting Type)

Crafting Type: The Power of Language and the Hands That Craft it.

Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock is soon to be hit with Ireland’s only established creative festival, ‘OFFSET 2012’. To celebrate this bringing together of all things graphic and cutting edge, an exhibition curated by Orlaith Ross entitled ‘Crafting Type’, will cross the craft and design divide by exploring the creations of Ireland’s finest visual elite. Taking place in The Factory, Barrow Street, Dublin 4 from March 8 to 12 inclusive (entry free of charge, 10-5pm daily), ‘Crafting Type’, takes advantage of the creative and innovative hub that is The Dublin Startup Bootcamp run by Eoghan Jennings. An official launch will take place on Thursday the 8 of March, 2012 at The Factory at 6pm.
Ten inspirational artists, craftspeople and designers will be exhibiting in ‘Crafting Type’, all of whom conceive and interpret type and lettering in inventive ways. They display a range of processes that encompass the traditional, the handmade, the conceptual, the illustrative and the typographic. This diverse group of creative’s united by the exhibition ‘Crafting Type’; offer the viewer a number of different perspectives on the place of craftsmanship and type in our everyday lives. Intended to reveal the power of language and the hands that craft it, ‘Crafting Type’ marks the shift in the perceptions of design and craft as exemplified by the works on display. The intention of the display is to illustrate how craft is fundamental to the skill set of these creative visual communicators. Illustrating how the values of craftsmanship can enrich our daily lives.

On close inspection of the letterpress work by Mary Plunkett and Jamie Murphy, the reality of what it means to be a craftsperson is evident. The sheer accuracy and delicate style reveals their innate understanding of materials and appreciation of intricacies of letterpress. This too is seen in the work of designer and typographer, Naoise O’Conchubhair whose ‘Insular’ typeface displays his ability to craft and illustrate his love of Gaelic script, from its traditional form into a contemporary masterpiece. Naoise’s inspiration is found in the work of renowned stone letter carver and typographer, Michael Biggs, a mentor of Thomas Glendon, whose work is also featured in this exhibition. As a master craftsman who strives for perfection in his trade, Thomas’s work exudes an assurance and sensitivity that originates from the understanding of his materials combined with the breadth of his experience, which makes him one of the foremost stone carvers in the country.

The traditional calligraphic work of Gareth Colgan, demonstrates a meticulous understanding of the art of a scribe. His scrupulous attention to detail, invites the viewer to inspect the unique and fluid approach of his lettering more closely. These elements continue in the work of Logan McLain, who redirects traditional technique to achieve unconventional outcomes, many of which are at times unsettling and controversial. Using type, Logan’s visually rich messages raise his concerns on social and moral issues, often neglected by social commentary. Reminding us of the craft of type, and the need for clarity and simplicity in communication is the work of James Cullen. His dramatic use of type demonstrates his innate sense of space that creates abstract and contrasting textures in his compositions. Also pushing the boundary of contemporary design is Cian Corcoran of Designgoat, whose practice spans industrial design, sound engineering, furniture making and interactive design. His intuitive three-dimensional designs are driven by the simple goal of creating products that are complex in nature but simple and sustainable in form. Another inventive creator is Suzanne Murphy who creates typographical artworks that are painstakingly hand-produced to communicate with viewers in an engaging and poignant manner.
For further information, please contact: Orlaith Ross, NCAD
Curator, ‘Crafting Type’
Phone: 085 7464876

Speaking at the launch of Distillers Press Website

Bill Bolger (former Head of Visual Communication NCAD) David Caron (Head of Visual Communication) and Sean Sills (Distillers Press NCAD) launch the Distillers Press Website with a history and background to Distillers Press at NCAD.

At launch of Distillers Press Website 2/03/2012

Fiona and Alex Milton (Head of Design at NCAD) enjoy the speeches on the night.

At launch of Distillers Press Website 2/03/2012

Tom Duffy (Duffy Binding), Seren Deeb (GP Digital), Kyma Deeb (GP Digital) and Orlaith Ross (Ceramic Designer).
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