In 2011 Urban Cottage Industries secured the future of the UK’s largest collection of Linotype and letterpress machinery. We love traditional printing and had to make a donation when we found out about ‘Los Ultimos Endless Letterpress’, a prospective independent documentary about letterpress printing in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Just a few days after our donation we were sobre la luna (over the moon) to receive a couple of letterpress posters by airmail.
The crowd funded documentary will tell the story of letterpress printing in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. ‘Los Ultimos’ is Spanish for ‘The Last’ and the film will look at the few print shops remaining where people use the same printing methods as they did a century ago. The team behind the documentary have released a trailer which suggests the final documentary will be brilliant.
You do not need to be an afficionado of print to appreciate the skill, dedication and sheer artistry of people using movable wooden type and letterpress to create classic posters. The print team at Urban Cottage Industries take pride in our own traditional typography, but we bow down to the man in Buenos Aires who typesets a newspaper by hand and corrects mistakes in the forme using a proof copy and a pair of tweezers. Carlos Ubelino Castro Cuello is a legend.
The posters we received from Argentina are printed on a hand-fed platen press using wood block type on light-weight, news print style paper. The over print is due to the poster being folded in half while wet. A great deal of ink is used to produce the bold prints, so much so, the posters were still slightly tacky on arrival from South America.
We appreciate the level of skill and care that’s required for print of this kind. Both posters have taken pride of place on our walls, bringing a touch of south America to our own print shop in west Yorkshire.