I had my first letterpress experience last month! Since I visited the Melbourne Museum of Printing in February I have been so curious about letterpress printing and I had my letterpress meishi (business cards -very important in Japan!) made when I came back from my trip.

And last month I took a quick letterpress workshop and made my meishi for uguisu. I wanted to use hiragana and kanji (they are the two types of Japanese characters) but they didn't have one of the kanji characters I wanted to use so I ended up using all katakana for the shop name. In Japanese wirings there are 3 different types of alphabet, which we use mixing together. Hiragana and katakana have 46 characters each and for kanji there are 1,945 listed by Japanese Ministry of Education. That all together is a massive number compared to English alphabet of 26 each for lower/upper case. So picking all the characters from the case one by one is a hard work, for a newspaper.... can you imagine!?

Anyway, when I had it made professionally I gave them the design (layout) which I mad e with the illustrator, to adjust the letter spacings and the line hights are nothing when done on the computer but oh did I learn how uneasy it is to do that all manually! It was a lot of fun at the same time though. In this workshop I just made a set of very simple layout 25 meishi but I want to take the proper class when I have more time in the future.

I also have some letterpress paper goods in my shop such as these, so please check them out too!

9 comments

  1. I love the feel of letterpress. I always glide my fingers over them because they make me happy :)

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  2. really like the patterns.!!
    it must have been full of excitement. :D

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  3. Yes, very interesting...but unfortunately, this is a dying trade...it will completely dissapear in the next few years...do you agree?

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  4. letterpress is great!!!
    looks like the magazines in ur shops are flying!!i can wait to get mine when i go home!!
    xxx gini

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  5. i worked for a short period in a printing office;
    for printing the envelopes, they were still using letterpress, it was nice to see.
    love this post.

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  6. hi jen,
    i know!!! i do that too ;)

    hi Anna,
    hi Gon,
    yes it was a really cool experience :)

    hi Baron's Life,
    actually it is becoming very popular here in the last couple of years, I hope it will stay. The result is great when printed on letterpress and it can't be done on the computer!

    hi gini,
    ah yes, the magazines I newly added the other day all went in a day! I hope you will enjoy yours, thank you ;)

    hi at swim-two-birds,
    wow, for printing the envelopes? that is so great! Hoorah for the letterpress ;)

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  7. Sounds like a very rewarding experience... the history and the quality of the printing.
    Am also loving your posts as I learn a little more about Japanese culture each time!

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  8. oh waw, what a great post! magic place!

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your kind words are always welcome and appreciated! arigato :)

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