A little letterpress

Some weeks ago Elena brought me a set of cast metal sorts from Italy, a gift from an old typographer. She knows I have a soft spot for typography, analog processes and old machinery: letterpress printing is a good example. I love all that stuff.

I decided to build a small letterpress so I could use the types. I checked which materials I had in my material box and I found some scraps from past experiments. Three blocks of wood (I’m pretty sure is Mahogany), brass little rods and some copper. These random pieces defined the shape of the little letterpress.


I made a little ink brayer with some parts of an old radio cassette player I found in the studio.

Despite typography and letterpress printing is everything about accuracy, I must say this is not the most precise letterpress ever. This type of wood is really hard and thin drills were bending. Also I couldn’t work with a precise router this time (I used a Dremel with the router table).

I made a little video of one of the first print tests:

Last weeks at CIID I’ve been involved mainly in research projects and mentoring the students on their final projects, not much hands-on prototyping. This little press project has balanced the thinking with some making.

There are some more pictures in my Flickr set.




7 Responses to “A little letterpress”

  1. 40fakes » A Little Letterpress Says:

    […] la web de Ishac Bertran encontré esta alucinante mini imprenta que ha construido. Echad un vistazo, es un ejercicio […]

  2. Ayaka Says:

    This is so amazing & adoooooraaable!! Love it!!!

  3. Ah ! Pardi, ça blog rétro par ici : photo, vidéo, musique, lifestyle et design (mais vintage) – Imprimerie de poche à base de pièces de récup’ Says:

    […]  Plus d’images et d’informations sur le blog d’Ishac Bertran […]

  4. Peter Fraterdeus Says:

    Awesome!!! Love it ;-)
    World’s tiniest letterpress!

  5. Little Press | Teusje Says:

    […] link ] Share:Share on TumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in […]

  6. Little Press | eeko studio BLOG Says:

    […] Ishac Bertrain‘s Little Press project is inspired from the cast metal his friend brought for him from Italy. Now I’m hoping this project could become a real product, so cute! | 3967COMMENT! » […]

  7. Beady Eyed Craftster: Art, Science and Little Machines | UnRuley Articles Says:

    […] Is this the smal­lest let­ter­press machine in the world? No idea, but it’s a neat bit […]

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