The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

August 25, 2016
by Dan
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The Last Punchcutter

One for the letterpress obsessives and tool aficionados, The Last Punchcutter is a beautiful, wordless film capturing Giuseppe Brachino — who was the head of the engraving department of the Nebiolo Company from Turin — hand-cut a punch for metal type: (via Coudal)

April 2, 2016
by Dan
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Alan Kitching: “I always try to have some logic to the job”

Related to my post earlier today, typographer Alan Kitching also talked to It’s Nice That this week about printing with letterpress, and a new monograph documenting his work: Kitching started Omnific studio with Martin Lee and Derek Birdsall, who he … Continue reading

April 29, 2015
by Dan
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Freunde von Freunden: Erik Spiekermann Interview

Freunde von Freunden visit the apartment and studio of designer and typographer Erik Spiekermann: A look around his tidy, if eclectic, home offers an eye pleasing sampler of the designer’s interests. One of his home’s main attractions is his two-story bookshelf, … Continue reading

April 7, 2015
by Dan
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Alan Kitching’s A-Z of Letterpress

I just received an advance copy of Alan Kitching’s A-Z of Letterpress from UK publisher Laurence King, and it really is a lovely little book for type and letterpress enthusiasts. The accordion-playing Kitching has featured on the blog before of course, but over the course of his career he has … Continue reading

March 17, 2015
by Dan
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Recovering a Lost Typeface

In this short video for the BBC, designer Robert Green talks about his reconstruction of the lost Doves Press typeface:

January 13, 2015
by Dan
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Portrait of a Letterpress Printer

Portrait of a Letterpress Printer is a short documentary about William Amer, a letterpress printer and instructor based in Rockley NSW, Australia. I have serious shed envy…

January 8, 2015
by Dan
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Creative Characters: Erik Spiekermann

Type designer Erik Spiekermann recently spoke to MyFont’s Creative Characters newsletter about his career and his return to letterpress printing: I think it’s very appropriate to discuss the new interest in analog technologies, and the ways that young people are now finding … Continue reading

September 18, 2014
by Dan
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Alan Kitching and Monotype

Well, this is absolutely lovely — a short film about letterpress typographer, designer, artist (and accordion player) Alan Kitching, and a set of posters he created with Monotype to celebrate the centenary of five influential designers born in 1914: Tom Eckersley, Paul Rand, FHK Henrion, Josef … Continue reading

July 28, 2014
by Dan
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Church of Type

Church of Type is the new letterpress studio in Santa Monica, California, of veteran designer and printmaker Kevin Bradley. In this lovely short film, Bradley talks about relocating to Los Angeles, typography, the printing press, and making things by hand:

June 20, 2012
by Dan
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New York Types

‘New York Types’ is a short film about New York, letterpress, and the art exhibition of the same name at the Art Directors Club last year. Inspired by the ʻThe Scriptʼ at  New York Writes Itself, the exhibition illuminated the sights and sounds … Continue reading

April 11, 2012
by Dan
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Typecaster For Life

“I thoroughly enjoy the sound of the machines turning, and seeing the type come out is a joy” A really wonderful short film about 80 year-old Lewis Mitchell who has been maintaining Monotype casting machines for 62 years and continues to do … Continue reading

February 15, 2012
by Dan
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Earl Kallemeyn Letterpress

The New York Times has posted a short video interview with Earl Kallemeyn of Kallemeyn Press about the beauty of letterpress:

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