LETTERMPRESS: Graphic redesign

By Garbiñe Jaurrieta. May 25, 2012


In 1964, the company Vandercook introduced the innovative SP15, a printing press that, although still hand-driven, revolutionized printing works in the whole country and delighted graphic design and lithography lovers. Metal rollers, wooden typefaces, ink, paper and hand operated cranks… the model was not very different from the previous ones but it was more efficient, more productive. Another step in the race towards immediacy, instant creation.

Years went by and this system became obsolete, even for the fast Vandercook. Printing became digital, it was mass-produced and there was no space nor time for such bulky devices. But the noughties came with their re fever, the boom of whatever was retro, of recycling fashion and past styles, and the Vandercook was dusted off once again. This time re-editioned as an app for Mac and iPad under the name of LetterMpress.

Although it is not very intuitive, this app recently designed by John Bonadies gives you the opportunity to generate your typographical creations to be printed and print them afterwards. Choose the colour, the saturation, the size of the font, use furniture for spacing. Yes, LetterMpress recreates an old system to design and the visual result is very similar but –as it normally happens with everything that’s re– it fails to transport us back to the past, to the smell of ink and paper of those long-gone printing presses.

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