Letterpress in Design Education

Letterpress is a fundamental part of the history of the London College of Communication (formerly known as the London College of Printing), which still holds one of the UK’s largest collections of lead and wood type. The letterpress workshop, now, is still a key resource for designers and students from a broad range of courses and I strongly believe that it has to be preserved as an essential element of our learning process as designers since it enhances our understanding of the primary principles of typography and their relevance in design practice. I started wondering how I could improve the letterpress workshop at LCC in order to make it more accessible and deliver a more effective and durable experience as part of the students’ learning process. I decide to analyse its relevance to the teaching of design and how the college could engage students to approach and benefit from this amazing learning tool. How can the workshop be better integrated into the design curriculum at LCC? How can the university promote its usage in a more effective way?

While learning about design education and teaching methods, I worked on a wide range of letterpress related experiments, which allowed me to get familiar with the letterpress process and its qualities and limitations. At the same time I used service designs methods to analyse the letterpress workshop, identify possible faults and elaborate a range of suitable solutions.

My investigation involved different fields such as pedagogy, design education, history of print, service design and typography.