Slow Down 50%
June 6, 2010 3:05 PM   Subscribe

In a time when people can carry computers in their pockets and watch TV while walking down the street, Typeface dares to explore the twilight of an analog craft that is freshly inspiring artists in a digital age. The Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, WI personifies cultural preservation, rural re-birth and the lineage of American graphic design. At Hamilton, international artisans meet retired craftsmen and together navigate the convergence of modern design and traditional technique.

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posted by netbros (7 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
nice post! this is fascinating.
posted by wundermint at 3:43 PM on June 6, 2010

Wonderful video and great cause. I would love to visit
posted by digdan at 4:46 PM on June 6, 2010

The procedure shown in the timelapse here isn't what they do in production for multiple pieces, is it? With the un-set type just loosely arranged on the press? That seems surprisingly impractical for anything except one-offs, and I thought that the background of this technique was mass-producing big posters, announcements, and other ephemera.

Is there really no way to lock the type into a form when using wood type? Or is the guy in that series just not using it?
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:21 PM on June 6, 2010

One of the wonderful things about The Hamilton Wood Type Museum is that it is a working museum; members, designers, and artists can go to use the letter presses.
If anyone is in the area, I seriously recommend visiting, it is well worth it.
posted by thebestsophist at 7:23 PM on June 6, 2010

Kadin2048: you're right, in a mass production environment, they do lock them down the same way as with metal type. In fact, they're made in the same specifications and will fit into the same presses as metal type.

By the way, Hamilton the company still exists, it's the same Hamilton that now produces medical equipment. Apparently along with producing wood type, they also made cabinets to store the type in. The cabinets ended up also being really useful for storing medical equipment, and the medical equipment business quickly outgrew the type business. They actually still own the building the museum is in. They lend it and the equipment to the museum.
posted by thebestsophist at 7:41 PM on June 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

Is there really no way to lock the type into a form when using wood type? Or is the guy in that series just not using it?

Yes, you would normally lock the type into frames using "furniture", even for serious one-offs. The guy in the video is just having a go with some free-form punk-ish fun.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:02 AM on June 7, 2010

Gotcha. That makes more sense.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:08 PM on June 7, 2010

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