Loading Events
Letterpress makeready
  • This event has passed.
Event Categories

Long-Distance Letterpress: Precision Makeready

with Dafi Kühne
Sunday, June 6
10:00 am – 12:00 pm PDT
$50.00 – $75.00
A Zoom link will be sent in advance of class


PiP is committed to limiting financial barriers when possible. We leave it to you to decide if your income, wealth, or privilege status warrants a scholarship. All tickets support event production.
The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking “Get Tickets” will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Registrations are no longer available

This class is also offered on Monday, June 7.

Why You Should Totally Take This Class

Understanding height-to-paper or type height is fundamental to letterpress printing. Any object that is type high (US .918in / UK 0.928in) and has a flat surface will print. Precise makeready (the process of perfectly calibrating a block to the ideal printing height) in combination with the correct press packing will affect the quality of a print tremendously. Almost any object can be printed—from very soft to rock hard—if it is calibrated correctly. If the block is too low, it won’t touch the ink rollers or the paper. Too high, and it will bite into the paper, dent the press packing, or even damage the block and possibly the press. How do you stay within a safe range?

This class will focus on:

  • learning how Dafi prints from alternative materials in his studio 
  • calibrating blocks using calipers or a plate height tester
  • the theory and practice of the correct thickness of cylinder packing on a cylinder proof press (Vandercook or similar)
  • the importance of precision when working with unconventional materials

All participants will receive a copy of the class project via snail mail as a tangible reminder of the experience.

What You’ll Learn

In this workshop Dafi will explain the importance of precision in makeready and cylinder packing. Dafi will introduce various ways to precisely measure the height-to-paper and explain the recommended tolerances. Peppered with relevant examples of his poster work, he will then demonstrate the uses of unconventional materials in relevance to the topic of precise makeready. While this class will focus mainly on cylinder proof presses, most aspects (especially block makeready) work similarly on a platen press. 

Who is it for?

This class is suited for designers/printers of any level who are interested in safely experimenting with printing different materials. A basic understanding of letterpress printing is required.

About the Instructor

Dafi Kühne
Zürich, Switzerland
Dafi Kühne is a Swiss designer, letterpress printer and graphic design educator. In his studio, babyinktwice, he uses a wild mix of analog and digital tools to produce posters for music, art, architecture, theatre and film projects, and also for products. With one main rule in his studio— “No PDF ever leaves the studio as a final product”— he prints all his posters with letterpress printing presses. His mostly typographic posters have won international awards and been in exhibitions all around the globe. Since 2016 Dafi has been running his own intense summer program in Switzerland. His designer monograph True Print was published by Lars Müller Publishers in 2016. Dafi is known for his non-traditional yet precise approaches to letterpress printing using unconventional materials, which are entertainingly documented in his educational video series, The Dafi Kühne Printing Show™. Dafi studied in the Visual Communication Department at Zürich University of the Arts and also holds a Masters of Research degree in Typeface Design from the University of Reading, UK.