Documentary filmmaking has kept pace with letterpress printing’s resurgence in popularity.
Farewell, Etaoin Shrdlu
“Farewell, Etaoin Shrdlu” was filmed by David Loeb Weiss in 1978 on the last day the New York Times was printed using Linotype and other hot type methods to produce the newspaper. It is narrated by Carl Schlesinger, who interviews the workers who have a strong connection to the traditions of letterpress printing.
Linotype: The Film
“Linotype: The Film” is a feature-length documentary centered around the Linotype type casting machine. Called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by Thomas Edison, it revolutionized printing and society. The film tells the surprisingly emotional story of the people connected to the Linotype and how it impacted the world.
Making Faces: Metal Type in the 21st Century
“Making Faces” documents the work of Canadian graphic artist Jim Rimmer (1931-2010). In 2008, P22 type foundry commissioned Rimmer to create a new type design—the first simultaneous release of a digital font and hand-set metal font—named Stern.
Proceed and Be Bold!
“Proceed and Be Bold!” follows the life and work of letterpress printer Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., and his socially and politically charged works of art.
Pressing On: The Letterpress Film
The modern world was born on a printing press. Once essential to communication, the 500-year-old process is now in danger of being lost as its caretakers age. From self-proclaimed basement hoarders to the famed Hatch Show Print, Pressing On: The Letterpress Film explores the question: why has letterpress survived in a digital age?
Endless Letterpress is a film about letterpress printing in Argentina. Facing the deterioration of the machines and the advance of new technologies, the printing presses are closing their workshops. At the same time, a group of young people rediscovers the greatest technical innovation in the history of the written word: letterpress printing. But it will be difficult for them to learn the trade since it has always been passed down from master to apprentice – and they are outsiders. The last graphic mechanic of the country will be in charge of teaching them so that this ancient technique can withstand the passage of time.
PrintingFilms.com is a collection of vintage films that showcase the technologies and processes of printing, journalism, and typography.