John Labovitz | Artistic Photographer

Explorer of spaces & places. Typographer & designer. Observer & flaneur. Specialist in archaic photographic processes.

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Text and images copyright © 2017 John Labovitz. All rights reserved.

Letterpress

I’m currently photographing letterpress printers, engravers, type founders, book binders, paper makers, and other artisans of the assorted printing arts. I’ve long been intrigued by this craft and technology. (In addition to being a photographer, I have been a typographer for many years, though primarily in the digital domain.). We’re in a curious state right now: while online/electronic publishing is quickly dominating mainstream publishing, the 500-year old art of letterpress printing is healthier than it’s been for decades. So I decided to tour the US to visit artists & craftspersons in their studios, workshops, basements, and garages. I’m hoping to capture the sense of working with these tangible, hands-on, messy, non-virtual processes: the presses, casters, plates, lead type, paper, ink, and other apparatus. Along the way, I have also discovered an intriguing community of people who have not only rescued these obsolete machines and processes, but are actively and passionately creating new work.