VOLUME 20 #2

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On Press
Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson
the letter M

odern printed materials, from simple fliers to elaborately designed magazines, are almost always created via computer. In fact, says Bill Deering, assistant professor of art, today's visual communications students may not ever have seen a traditional printing press or thought about typography beyond clicking a mouse to electronically choose a particular font.

That all changes when students step into UD's letterpress studio, home of Raven Press. The room is filled with boxes of letters—all shapes and sizes, thousands made of wood and hundreds of cases holding lead type—as well as a variety of inks and several hand-operated presses, all available for students to use as they experiment with traditional ways of communicating in print.

The program began in 2003, the brainchild of Ray Nichols (since retired) and Deering, who now co-directs it with Ashley Pigford, AS96, also an assistant professor of art. The letterpress studio is an unusual resource that attracts and intrigues students, they say.

"I'm passionate about the letterpress," says senior Lindsay Schmittle. "To me, art is all physical and hands-on, and working here is just an awesome experience."

Bill Deering and Ashley Pigford in the letterpress studio, where students have access to wooden and lead type and numerous printing presses.
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