Sunday, 6 May 2012

Theory Into Practice Artist Research.

Alan Kitching
Alan Kitching is one of the world’s foremost practitioners of letterpress typographic design and printmaking. Alan Kitching is renowned for his expressive use of wood and metal letterforms in creating visuals for commissions and his own limited edition prints.
Alan Kitching has had solo shows in London and Barcelona, and contributed to various group exhibitions including the Pompidou Centre Paris, the British Library and the Barbican Art Gallery London.

In 1994 Alan Kitching was appointed Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) and elected member of Alliance Graphique International (AGI).
Alan is Honorary Fellow of The Royal College of Art and Visiting Professor, University of the Arts London. Alan has conducted his workshops and given talks to industry, art schools and design conventions in UK, Europe, Australia and South Africa.
Previous clients include: Borough Market, The British Library, Creative Review, D&ADDazed & ConfusedThe GuardianThe National Theatre, Penguin Books, The Times, Royal Mail, Saatchi & Saatchi, Scheufelen Paper, Clarks Shoes, Random House, AOL and the 
Tate Modern.

Graphic designer, typographer, letterpress printmaker and teacher, Alan Kitching is internationally renowned for his expressive use of letterpress type, process and materials in creating typographic designs for publishing, advertising and his own limited edition prints and ‘Broadside’ publications.
Born in Darlington, County Durham in 1940, Alan left school aged 14 to become an apprentice compositor with a local printer. In 1961 he moved south to pursue a career in design. New directions were inspired by working as typography instructor under Anthony Froshaug in the Experimental Printing Workshop at the School of Art in Watford College of Technology.
Alan subsequently established his own design practice, taught at the Central School of Art, and was invited by Derek Birdsall to join the Omnific Design Partnership. He became visiting lecturer in typography at the Royal College of Art in 1988 and established his workshops there for students of all disciplines.
In 1989 Kitching decided to return to his letterpress roots and launched The Typography Workshop in Clerkenwell London with the first of his A1 ‘Broadside’ sheets – ‘an occasional publication devoted to the typographic arts’. As well as compositions for corporate identities, magazine and book covers and illustrations, Alan’s work has also featured on postage stamps, theatre posters, shop windows, billboards, signage and a 30 x 15ft typographic mural for the Guardian Newspaper’s London office.
In 1994 Alan met designer and writer Celia Stothard and they began collaborating on various projects, teaching workshops and the purchase of letterpress materials. The Typography Workshop Printroom and Studio, a joint venture in two south London workspaces, was launched in September 2005.
Alan was appointed Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) and elected member of Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) in 1994. He was made Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 1998, and Visiting Professor at the London Institute (University of the Arts London) in 2001.
Alan has had shows in London and Barcelona, and contributed work to various exhibitions in Europe including the Pompidou Centre Paris, the British Library and the Barbican Art Gallery London. He has conducted his workshops and given talks to industry, art schools and design conventions in UK, Europe, Australia and South Africa.

Over the past decade, many young designers have increasingly embraced letterpress printing as an antidote to the clinical quality brought about by the digital age. The smell of ink, the feel of metal and wood block letters, and the heavy textured paper, with the impressions left by type biting into the surface all put you at the heart of making a connection with the past.
There is one special man who has printer's ink coursing through his veins and has elevated letterpress composition to an art form.  He has been doing it for over four decades. He is Alan Kitching.

Chris Stern
Chris Stern and Jules Faye have been printing together for more than a decade, under the name of Stern & Faye, Printers. Each of them has also been printing for longer than that under their individual imprints: Chris established Grey Spider Press in 1986, and Jules established Street of Crocodiles Letterpress Printery in 1990. When they moved out of Seattle in 1994, they settled in the rural Skagit Valley and set up what they referred to as a "printing farm," with a barn full of working presses and typesetting equipment. Separately and together, they have produced an impressive body of printed work.
Chris has been doing a series of art prints, mixing up various kinds of old type with antique or out-of-date images from advertising and job printing. He layers them densely, but wittily, and the effect pleases both the eye and the mind.

During the last six years of Stern’s life the artist devoted his skills of letterpress printing and typography to create his individual style. His style consisted of layering ink and image with hand-set type, creating beautifully intriguing collages.
“Stern had big hands. They were calloused and rough from working on a press all day, seven days a week, 14 years straight. It was hard for him to take a break to do errands or visit friends, even. His work was his love, and he loved to work” (Haley Edwards).

Studio On Fire
Late in 1999, Studio On Fire began letterpress printing in a cold Minnesota basement. Our first press occupied a spot between the boiler and the litter box. Oh how the studio has grown – now ten presses and eleven people strong (with a proper studio space), we celebrate twelve years as a bustling design and print studio.

Egg Press
Since 1999, Egg Press has been industriously creating original, fresh, inspiring, handcrafted letterpress greeting cards and lifestyle products that connect and enrich people’s lives. As one of the few pioneers driving the resurgence of letterpress printing as an art form, we’ve established our leadership position within the industry as well as within the hand craft movement. Through this process we have cultivated an incredible fan base – who we adore. At Egg Press we are constantly exploring and experimenting - designing what we love to communicate with greater expression through color, pattern, form and wit.
Tess Darrow started Egg Press in Portland, Oregon as an outlet to combine her passion for graphic design with her degree in textile design from the University of Washington, where she began letterpress printing . In 1999, she left her product and brand design career at Nike to devote herself fully to building Egg Press. Our name and reputation for innovative letterpress greeting card design quickly spread, drawing business, along with an enthusiastic clutch of similarly talented and passionate designers, printers, operations and business specialists who make Egg Press the fun and dynamic, creative force it is today. In addition to our consumer products business, Egg Press is often called upon by some of the world’s leading companies (Herman Miller, Intel, MoMA, Nike, Adidas, Apple) to help with specialized communications projects. In 2009 Tess was joined by her husband, Jeff Weithman, who brings his 13 plus years of product and brand design experience as a Creative Director at Nike Design, as well as another many more years with his own brand design firm serving clients such as Nike, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Simms Fishing, TaylorMade Gold and countless others. Collectively the Egg Press team is adept at maintaining our creative entrepreneurial spirit while understanding the product creation timelines of large multi-national corporations. We do this every day for our 1000 plus boutique retailers.
In our manufacturing processes we consistently generate a minimal amount of waste, use as many locally resourced materials as possible and make sure that all our paper related products are responsibly chosen. It is personally important for everyone here at Egg Press that we make conscious efforts to participate in environmentally sound practices in our daily lives as well as at work. We continually strive to source eco-friendly materials and will continue to do so in hopes that they will eventually become the industry standard.

Chritophe Plantin
Plantin was born in France, probably in Touraine or Saint-Avertin, near the city of Tours. He learned bookbinding and bookselling inCaen. He married someone from Antwerp, and settled there in 1549 as a bookbinder. In 1555, he opened his own printing establishment and soon became a leader of that trade. The first book he is known to have printed was La Institutione di una fanciulla nata nobilmente, by Giovanni Michele Bruto, with a French translation. This was soon followed by many other works in French and Latin, which in point of execution rivalled the best printing of his time. The art of engraving then flourished in the Netherlands, and Dutch engravers illustrated many of his editions. Around 1555, an arm wound appears to have led him to apply himself to typography.
Christopher Plantin (1520–1589) was a determined survivor of the printing and publishing industry during dangerous and challenging times. Having lived during the Middle Ages, Plantin faced many different obstacles that modern day publishers would not have to. He was a smart and respected businessman who ran one of the most successful printing presses. He encountered various setbacks in his career, although he always managed to build his business back up as it needed to be. He accomplished great success as a printer and publisher. Plantin’s work has been described as “full of technical details” (Clair 42). He published many books throughout his career, including his most popular work, the Polyglot Bible. The book on display, Ceasaris, poses both similarities and differences to Plantin’s Polyglot Bible. 
The Plantin Press was not always the most successful business and Plantin had to rebuild it several times throughout his career.
Plantin was the “first mediaeval publisher whose books were planned for ‘popular circulation’” (Putnam 278). The books were designed to be quite small which is one of the initial details noticeable about Plantin’s book in comparison to the others on display. However, the small size was also a characteristic of books designed by Aldus, which can be seen in his version ofCeasaris on display. The small size was significant because it introduced a more portable book as they could easily fit into a bag and allowed for easier travel. Plantin’s version of Ceasaris, the book that is on display, is much smaller and more compact compared to what was normally published in his era. There is also an extreme difference in size in comparison to Plantin’s Polyglot Bible. In both cases, the sizes are extreme, which is what makes them distinctive.

Aldus Manutius
Aldus Pius Manutius (Bassiano, 1449 – Venice, February 6, 1515), the Latinised name of Aldo Manuzio —sometimes called Aldus Manutius, the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Aldus Manutius, the Younger—was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldine Press at VeniceHis publishing legacy includes the distinctions of inventing italic type, establishing the modern use of the semicolon, and introducing inexpensive books in small formats bound in vellum that were read much like modern paperbacks.
Aldus Manutius was born as Teobaldo Mannuci at Sermoneta in the Papal States. After studying in Rome and Ferrara, he moved to Mirandola in 1482 to stay with his friend, the cabbalist Giovanni Pico. Pico’s nephew Alberto Pio, the prince of Carpi, granted Aldus the money to set up a printing press for the promotion of Greek scholarship. Aldus fulfilled his charge in 1490 by founding the Aldine Press in Venice, assembling a staff of Greek scholars and compositors, and making Greek the official language of his business and household.
he Aldine Press introduced many innovations into the world of printing. The portable book was first developed there, an invention that proved to be a great service for travelling scholars. The punchcutter for the Aldine Press, former goldsmith Francesco Griffo, was one of the first to advance typeface design beyond simple imitation of hand-drawn characters, reaching the pinnacle of his art in the type for De Ætna by Pietro Bembo (1493), and the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (1499) by Francisco Colonna. His most famous achievement may have been the invention of italic type during the years 1500-1501.

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