LetterMpress for the iPad

I’m not an iPad user, so I can’t speak to its user-friendliness, but Phineas Jones alerted me to a neat new iPad app called LetterMpress that allows a virtual Vandercook to proof and print wooden type (and presumably metal, too, although it’s unclear). Designers seem to be into it, and LetterMpress was recently chosen as the “App of the Week” in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, according to the company’s website. Neenah Paper is also involved; the LetterMpress features Crane’s Lettra paper.

The application was conceived of by graphic designer John Bonadies in April 2010, went into production, and in February of 2011 a LetterMpress Kickstarter was launched to raise $15k to purchase and scan a huge collection of wooden type. Bonadies gave a talk at the Society for Typographical Arts (STA) in Chicago at the beginning of April 2011. By the end of the month almost $40k was raised for LetterMpress. Although I’m always more in favor of hands-on printing, this seems like this could be a great educational tool, and a nice way to test mock-ups before physically running a proof. The type archive is a nice resource, too.

The physical shop that houses all of the collected wooden type just happens to be in Champaign, Illinois at Living Letter Press. Looks like it will be up and running soon (hopefully open to the public). It looks as though the presses–and the inspiration–came from Bonadies’ former professor, Doyle Moore, Professor Emeritus of Art and Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For more info, you can read a great May 2011 interview with John Bonadies here about his background and starting the project and the shop.

John Bonadies with studio assistants.

Virtual print created in LetterMpress by Phineas Jones via Flickr.

[All other images press packet images via LetterMpress].


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Categories: Interesting Printmaking, Technology

6 Responses to “LetterMpress for the iPad”

  1. Samantha says:

    I kind of hate to say it, but this is actually really cool. Seems like it word be a good way to “sketch” out a design for an actual print. Now if only they had a 3D iPad that could show embossing…

  2. Luther says:

    So I payed with this AP and it seems promising. It’s clean and well designed from a visual stand point. I would say that it not as intuitive as it should be.

  3. kyle says:

    my tummy hurts

  4. Luther says:

    Making some progress with this AP now. Very fun.
    Kyle, feel better.

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