Last week, Pete, Kev & Ted headed over the Pennines to visit the Letraset exhibiton at Sheffield Hallam University.
Before being a student of design, before even knowing what design was in fact, I was fascinated by Letraset. My dad was a typesetter, and as such used to bring home abandoned type ephemera from work as the industry became gradually more and more affected by technological advances, on the way to its complete digitisation which we know today. Mind boggling though it now is, there was a time when skips across Trafford Park and beyond were full of metal type, presses, furniture and Letraset. On receipt of the Letraset I would take great care in rubbing down its letters from the blue sheet to a page, not creatively in memory, but mainly in the challenge of getting the letters down both straight and intact. (Top tip: draw a baseline.)
There is a beautiful (as ever) Unit Editions book available, and the exhibition itself is on until 28th October, and well worth a train ride during reflection week.
The exhibition tells the Letraset story from its early days as a difficult-to-use wet system, to its glory years as the first truly democratic alternative to professional typesetting.
Celebrating the launch of the Unit Editions book Letraset: The DIY Typography Revolution this exhibition is a comprehensive history of Letraset, the rubdown lettering system that revolutionised typographic expression.
The exhibition also celebrates Letraset’s present-day revival amongst a new set of admirers who recognise the typographic excellence of the system’s typefaces.