Creating and printing posters, self-initiated or on a commission is something I enjoy making the most. So, therefore, I was quite enthusiastic when it came to collaboration with MIAT museum where 2 different posters had to be designed, typeset from wood and metal type and letterpress printed at the printing department of the museum.
After a short briefing with museum staff, defining the concept, sketching the composition and a few adjustments, the actual typesetting began.
As the museum is housed in a former textile factory I had an idea of representing the building using only wood blocks, bras rules and metal type. This sounded like a great fun, but proved to be slightly challenging when it came to make-ready, adjustments and lock-up, as everything had a different height and there were not enough wood blocks so I had to flip a few letters to create the texture of the size I needed. Armed with tweezers I was improvising with whatever material I could find at the printing department, creating windows, doors, mechanics and spools using bras rules, electric lights from triangles I accidentally came across in type cabinet and smoke typeset from 2pt circles.
The second poster was more illustrative with some pieces of wordplay referring to the industrial past of the building and included a lovely linocut of steam engine made by Laurence De Craene. We did some research at the museum's library to find the right kind of steam engine which Laurence then stylised.
The letter 'O' of various sizes were used to illustrate the steam and printed in blue. The second layer was composed from wood type - Dutch saying 'Even stoom afblazen' which means 'Let off steam', a linocut mounted on wood and a tiny polymer plate with the logo of the museum, all printed in black in one print run.
Only 50 copies of each poster (30x40 cm) have been printed and are now available for sale at the MIAT museum shop.