letterpress poems about air hostesses

You know those people who go on about what Dalston used to be like “before it was trendy”? Well, that’s us I’m afraid. Back in the noughties we used to reside in the murky depths of E8, along with master typographer Mister Hugh Tarpey.  We had two principal forms of entertainment in those days. The first was lying in the garden watching the police helicopters hovering overhead. The second was fiddling about with our Heath Robinson letterpress Adana printing press. We would spend hours sifting through 6 point gill sans lead letters for a lowercase ‘g’ (most of our alphabets were incomplete) but this all added to the fun. With these limited resources we could only produce pretty small things – the type was tiny and fiddly and the printing area the size of a postcard, but we loved it. Everyone was chucking out their old-fashioned hot metal type at this time, and using new fangled computers which were clean, small and boring. But we had a real soft spot a bit of letterpress and manage to salvage a few bits of type  from the scrapheap and give it a home in our lean-to conservatory. The lack of choice in fonts, sizes and even individual letters dictated strongly our designs (we’d often get halfway through setting something only to run out of vowels, meaning either start again in a new font, change font midway through a paragraph or just use a different font for those letters). We wrote these poems about air hostesses (I can’t remember why, it didn’t seem to be that important at the time), set them in our ad-hoc way and printed them up as greetings cards. This is one of our favourite ever projects, not only for it’s naivety in design and content, but for it’s look which still feels fresh today. Dedicated to Nick and Ken, two real characters who taught us letterpress skills in our St Martins Days. Real Characters.















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