Long-Distance Letterpress: Laser Cutting
Why you should take this class
Printing from a relief surface dates back as far as two millennia, and modern letterpress printing largely relies on 19th century innovations. Jump into 2021 by adding a 2D laser cut to your toolbox. A laser cutter can cut, score, and engrave wood, acrylic, and other material ideal for printing in relief. Innovations in the last few years have made it affordable to own a 2D laser cutter like the Glowforge or upload designs to a service bureau for cutting. But you still need to know the ins and outs of making an old medium and a new technology come together.
What you’ll learn
In this discussion and demonstration, we’ll look at how to marry 2D cutting to letterpress printing, and then assemble some engraved and cut pieces. Using digital design software, you’ll learn how to use a 2D laser cutter to cut or engrave type and images from wood and acrylic. Those materials can then be raised type-high for letterpress printing. We’ll cover these topics and more with live demonstrations and examples of previously executed work:
- The best uses of 2D cut and engraved materials for letterpress
- Whether to cut or engrave
- Cutting the negative to make forms to hold conventional type
- How to plan designs for execution
- Overview of appropriate software, including the tools that drive 2D laser cutters
- About appropriate substrates and bases
- How to calculate costs
- Adhesives and materials to bring cuttings and engravings to type-high level
This workshop consists of a demonstration and interactive Q&A, with no advance preparation or supplies necessary to participate. No laser cutter is required, but access to one or a service bureau will be helpful after the class.
Who should take this class?
This demonstration is for anyone interested in laser-cut printing plates and their applications.