Printing Museum, Movable Type, Wood Type, Linotype, Typography, Printmaking, Letterpress, Vandercook Press, Vandercook SP15.
Melbourne Museum of Printing
Home Page
Australia's working and teaching museum of typography and printing located at Footscray, Victoria. Specialising in retention of traditional printing, both the equipment and the knowledge.

Zoe composing her book with movable type

Many visitors, wishing to use a press for some wonderful design with wood type, engravings, rules and decorations, wonder why MMOP requires them to fully understand typesetting and printers' measurements before having a go.

There are good reasons for this, but that's for another day, another page.

Zoe is an experienced printmaker and realised that a hand-made book should be hand made, and not have the text inserted by an electronic device. Zoe, along with two colleagues, attended MMOP for the "Roots of Printing Workshop" and learnt the basics of type and spacing. Letterpress design is really all about spacing. After the one-day intensive workshop, Zoe was ready to print the text part of her long-dreamed-of limited edition book.

Here, Zoe is composing a page of her book, holding the "composing stick" in her left hand while her right hand deftly picks up each letter and places it upside-down (as you do) in the stick, along with word-spaces. After composing each line, the spaces between words have to be adjusted so that the line will be exactly full (justified). The next line is composed on top of it.

When there are a few lines in the stick, they are "dumped" into the "galley" (a steel tray with three raised sides) that is waiting on the sloped top. Completed pages are printed (just one copy, as a proof) and checked for typographic errors and uneven spacing. After corrections, pages are grouped together as needed and printed.

BTW, each line on a page of text that is "ragged right" or "centred" still has to be justified. ?? Does that make sense? Find out.

<<< ... Home Page ... >>>