Brutalism as Architecture

Consider Brutalism as architecture in the raw, with an emphasis on materials, textures and construction, producing highly expressive forms. Seen in the work of Le Corbusier from the late 1940s with the Unite d’Habitation in Marseilles, the term Brutalism was first used in England by the architectural historian Reyner Banham in 1954. It referred to the work of Alison and Peter Smithson’s school at Hunstanton in Norfolk because of its uncompromising approach to the display of structure and services, albeit in a steel building rather than reinforced concrete.p I’ve always admired the tactile nature of letterpress stationery and was curious about the process that goes into making a letterpress print. It’s a technique that goes back to the very beginnings of printing history and today Emmaline from Coco Press is showing us How Letterpress Printing Works and what it means to her.

I can’t remember when I first discovered the wonderful, wonderful world of letterpress but I knew immediately it was for me. Already a print maker, I set out to learn everything I could about this beautiful trade, now some four years or so later, I have spent countless hours teaching myself everything I can about letterpress and realize that I have only just scratched the surface…

But to the uninitiated out there I hear you ask ‘So just what is letterpress anyway?’

Well I could give you a run down on the long history of the printing press and wax lyrical about what a sad world we would live in if

Gutenberg never gave us moveable type, but lets face it, letterpress is so much more than that.

Letterpress is an experience of the senses. Its beautiful to look at, the wonderful hand mixed ink in every colour ever imagined, the beautiful lettering coupled with funky design make a mini feast for the eyes. The impression stamped deep into the soft and beautifully textured 100% cotton paper begs not only to be touched but to be caressed by the softest part of your finger tips so no detail is left unexplored.

So when you experience your first piece of letterpress art, stop, take a minute and admire the design, the ink colours and stroke the paper like no one else is watching and smile as you imagine good old Johannes printing for the first time…yes it really would be a sad world if he never gave us moveable type.



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