The use of movable type in China is now a rare business. Invented in China by Bi Sheng during the Song Dynasty, movable type was created as a system to print lengthy Buddhist scripture. This traditional method has mostly been replaced by offset and digital printing, but lately, there has been discussion about collecting these existing artifacts and setting up printing museums or digitizing the complete fonts.
The product of an entire semester's work: one single type block. An essay on letterpress printing with wood. [via]
I loved this beautifully filmed short documentary on The Letterpress. For those of us who have ever risked our very own fingers for the cause of printing, or had the California Job Case burned into memory, this will be a trip down memory lane. For the rest of you, it may give you an idea for your next hobby.
"Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a watermark..." (qt video, via Signal versus Noise)