Print Version

Effective: Fall 2011
GID 92LETTERPRESS PRINTING4 Unit(s)

Advisory: Advisory: GID 50 and 74; not open to students with credit in GRDS 40.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU
3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (72 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • A successful student will be able to define letterpress printing, processes and materials
  • A successful student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the the history of letterpress printing and the contributions of diverse cultures.
  • A successful student will be able to explain the operations of a letterpress printing facility.
  • A successful student will be able to mix ink colors for letterpress printing.
  • A successful Student will be able to prepare printing substrates for letterpress printing and explain characteristic of same.
  • A successful student will be able to create letterperss prints using a printing press.
  • A successful student will be able to evaluate the content, form and techniques of works created using letterpress printing.
Description -
Studio practice in letterpress printing to create limited-edition prints and books. Introduction to handset type, hand-carved relief plates and photopolymer plates. Emphasis on technical skills with tools and media, visual communication, and aesthetics of print media.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. define letterpress printing, processes and materials.
  2. understand the history of letterpress printing and the contributions of diverse cultures.
  3. understand the operations of a letterpress printing facility.
  4. mix inks for letterpress printing.
  5. prepare printing substrates for letterpress printing.
  6. create letterpress prints using a printing press.
  7. evaluate the content, form and technique of works created using letterpress printing.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. Facilities: 24" x 36" table space for each student. Letterpress printing press and chase lock up tools. Metal type, wood type and tools for handset type. Light table. Inking workstations. Drying rack. Scale for ink measuring. Exposure unit with vacuum frame for Photopolymer plates. Sink for washout.
  2. When taught via Foothill Global Access:
    1. On-going access to computer with Email software and capabilities.
    2. Email address.
    3. Java-script enabled internet browsing software.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Letterpress History
    1. History and cultural origins of letterpress printing (Lec)
    2. History of process and materials (Lec)
    3. Contributions by artists of diverse cultures (Lec)
  2. Letterpress Printing
    1. Operations and procedures of a letterpress printmaking studio (Lec)
    2. Mixing inks (Lab)
    3. Press operations and press maintenance of Proofing Press and Platen Press (Lab)
    4. Clean up and safety (Lab)
  3. Media
    1. Plates for letterpress printing (Lab)
    2. Handset type (Lab)
    3. Carving relief plates (Lab)
    4. Photopolymer plates (Lab)
    5. Paper preparation and curating (Lab)
  4. Design and Communication
    1. Letterpress design, typography and communication (Lec)
    2. Concept development (Lab)
    3. Design and production (Lab)
    4. Typography (Lab)
    5. Printing (Lab)
    6. Print distribution (Lab)
    7. Analysis of communication objective (Lab)
  5. Collaboration
    1. Letterpress collaborative projects (Lab)
    2. Distribution of responsibility in a collaborative environment (Lab)
    3. Studio management (Lab)
  6. Critique and presentation
    1. presenting works of art for peer review (Lab)
    2. evaluation of content, context, form and technique (Lab)
  7. Safety & use of tools
    1. Working in a shared studio space (Lec)
    2. Proper use of of tools and equipment (Lec)
    3. Tool and equipment maintenance (Lec)
  8. Environmental practices
    1. Working in a shared studio space (Lec)
    2. Environmental concerns and personal safety (Lec)
    3. Reading and understanding product instructions (Lec)
    4. Reading and understanding Material Safety Data sheets (Lec)
    5. Reading and understanding safety signage in the studio (Lec)
    6. Proper disposal and recycling of materials (Lec)
    7. Environmental safety requirements at Foothill College (Lec)
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Evaluation of prints produced. Evaluation of each project is determined by how completely it fulfills the parameters and goals of the assignment.
  2. Participation in group discussions and critiques.
  3. Reading, research & writing assignments.
Representative Text(s) -
Cleeton, Glen, Charles Pitkin and Raymond Cornwell. General Printing: An Illustrated Guide to Letterpress Printing. Saratoga, CA: Liber Apertus Press, 2008.

Disciplines -
Art
Graphic and Interactive Design
 
Method of Instruction -
Lecture, Discussion, Oral presentations, Laboratory, Demonstration.
 
Lab Content -
Concept development sketches, planning and production sketches, preparation of plates, inks and paper for printing, printing, and curating of finished work.
 
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Reading assignments from assigned textbook.
  2. Reading of handouts.
  3. Reading of internet research sites.
  4. Writing about art projects.
  5. Writing portfolio and artist's statements.