Pressing On: The Letterpress Film

Just stumbled across Pressing On: The Letterpress Film on Amazon Prime. WowCoolGonzo and so spot on for this list.

I did a search for "Pressing On" across all of TypeDrawers and found not a single mention. Odd, for a film that might be the best first introduction to typography. (even though I've only seen the first 15 minutes, so far).


  • Dibs!
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,206
    edited February 17
    Maybe it's because we are more oriented here to type design rather than type use in general. 

    Pressing On
    is mainly about small letterpress printers, including older "hobby" printers and the new generation of young people who have discovered letterpress in the digital age.

    It's a really great movie, though. I saw it a couple of times at type-related events when it debuted in 2017. I'm really happy to learn that it's available for streaming.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,206
    edited February 17
    Some others in a similar vein:

    Los Ultimos -- Endless Letterpress (Argentina, 2019. Not available for streaming yet.)

    Linotype: The Film (US, 2012. Available for streaming.)

    Typeface (US, 2009. Available for streaming.)
  • Related, type design metal and digital:
    Making Faces: Metal Type in the 21st Century (US, 2011, available for streaming)
  • ... because we are more oriented here to type design rather than type use in general. 
    I was just struck by the value of the deep background for people, like myself, who have only read about the history of typography. I think that a well-done documentary, even if somewhat tangential, gives motivation and history in a way that printed publications do not.

    In most fields I have waded into, when asking one well-heeled in the subject, the most rewarding response has been a short list of the seminal words in the field that I had to read. These days, a mix of print and video seems in order.

    I started in 1993 by hacking Palatino to get the kerning I wanted for a book I was publishing. My techie background has tended to keep me in the trenches, rather than accessing resources to get the 30,000 foot view.

    So, if others could please add to this list - post your suggestions (along the lines of "must read, seminal works" for budding typographers.

    I hope to view them all and assemble my own list ... 

  • Stephen Fry explores the history of Gutenberg and the first printing:

  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,224
    At my age this is very old news.  Perhaps the younger designers should see it, though?
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,206
    And, let's not forget:

    Helvetica (US, 2007. Available for streaming and in many formats.)
  • James MontalbanoJames Montalbano Posts: 941
    edited February 18
    And I cannot forget Mark Simonson's wonderful ode to all things Offset/Orthographic in a talk he gave at some TypeCon conference in the distant past.

  • Netflix: Abstract The Art of Design
    Jonathan Hoefler: Typeface Design
    Season 2, Episode 6. IMDb Netflix
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,206
    edited February 20
    In case anyone is interested in my talk ("The Romance of Offset") that James mentioned above, here is a link:

    This is from TypoSF 2015. I also did it at TypeCon the year before, but I think this version is better.
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