Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Neato Posters

Some fantastic concert posters produced by long-running letterpress outfit, Hatch Show Print. For those of you not obsessed with printmaking, letterpress is a very old form of printing involving moveable type, i.e. the little metal letters that you can rearrange backwards into your text. Then you ink up the letters and press them into the paper so it prints forwards - a press does all this, sometimes powered by hand, sometimes electrically. You can also add images, and print designs in several colours on top of each other. There's the basic idea, and they've been doing this since the Gutenberg Bible! Magic.

You can see the effect of the letterpress printing most clearly in the John Fogerty print, I think - the end-on uncut woodblocks and the metal type arranged around it. The overlapping colour plates are most obvious in the Pixies and KT Tunstall posters.

Letterpress is experiencing a major resurgence right now, and especially in music posters. I think it's so great that people are appreciating the awesome effects you can get with such an old technique. I am learning how to do it myself, and I can tell you it's great fun to do: arranging the type and whatnot, and using those gigantic steel presses. Then the finished product has a fantastic and unique quality to it.

(By the way, I chose these posters because they were my favourites, not necessarily for the bands on them. Although I quite like Keb' Mo.)

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