In this episode, I talk with Brian Allen — the propietor of Artisan Printer, a local print shop in Durham, NC. He has a lot of experience in the printing industry and formerly worked for Monotype.
You’ll hear him casually mention that he has a digital typeface designed after his handwriting for Microsoft. He’s a wealth of knowledge and insight and our conversation ranges from his favorite typefaces to his German and Swiss printing presses.
He also talks about his experiences observing the analog to digital (and now back to analog?) shift in printing technologies.
1:40 — Brian’s background in printing. 2:43 — What is “phototype”? 5:05 — How Brian got into printing. 7:25 — How Brian got into letterpress printing and watching the resurgence of letterpress. 11:35 — Photopolymer platemaking. 15:50 — Setting type by hand and reading backwards… “You can’t fight it.” 20:40 — First press and on purchasing a Vandercook in the late ’90s for $100. 25:08 — Deep impression vs the “kiss” and experimenting with varying packing levels. 30:50 — The artisan movement and rise of letterpress. 33:40 — The importance of type and design and favorite typefaces. 37:20 — Brian’s European printing presses. 39:15 — How to mount linoleum blocks to wood MDF. 40:08 — Teaching workshops and on finding a printing press today. 46:58 — What’s “next”. 48:53 — Handwriting turned into a digital typeface for Microsoft.