Letterpress is experiencing a renaissance in graphic design – We have studied this old printing technique and brought it into the present. Four different decorative typefaces based on Helvetica Compressed were designed. One of them is the MCE, whose forms suggest impossible perspectives, very much in the spirit of M.C. Escher. The letters were 3D-printed and printed on different papers in Letterpress. A printed newspaper serves as a type specimen.
3D Print & Printing Press
For the test, letters from a to g were printed in the test font DIN Pro. The FDM 3D printing-method was used. The individual letters were used to test how high the 3D-printed letters must be to obtain a beautiful printed image on a Grafix. They were printed from 23.56 mm to 25 mm. Later the minimum text size (in pt) for an 3D printer was tested. Better results can be obtained by using the SLA method, which has not been tested yet. The tests showed several problems, so that Grafix turned out to be unsuitable for letterpress as such and the final prints were printed using a platen press.
Typedesign for 3D-Print Letterpress
As a type specimen a newspaper has been printed, which shortly describes each typeface and shows all available glyphs. Helvetica ExtraCompressed was used as a template for all fonts. All letters were drawn by hand and digitally copied from the sketches. This project brought together different letterpress papers, two different letterpress processes, the combination of traditional printing methods with a FabLab and newspaper printing as a type specimen.