Type Face by Justine Nagan is a film about the love for wooden letterpress such as Hamilton has done it since the 19th century. It focuses on the rural Midwestern Hamilton Wood Type Museum and print shop where international artists meet retired craftsmen and together navigate the convergence of modern design and traditional technique.

With the beginning of the industrialization more and more people wanted to produce faster and more efficient with less money. Also the typography industry had to answer to this request. And they answered with wooden letters. One worker could produce 3 letters in a minute and with more workers there were no limits for the clients, having their typeface made up within short time ready to press it on the paper.

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TYPEFACE official trailer from Kartemquin Films on Vimeo.

Today it’s more like a destressing method, 50% slow down, that you have when you come into the Hamilton Wood Type Museum for working with some wooden characters. It’s astonishing that there has to be two characters, once the wooden and than the human. Both together bring out a different result each time, when somebody is collecting some specimens for a print. The museum is found by Jim van Lanen in 1999.

Although society is really flat today, there are a lot of small collectives such as the post family artists collective which was found by some graphic designers, who like to keep deep letterpress alife. We apreciate this and hope that you have the chance to visit the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Wisconsin once. Thanks to Justine Nagan for sending us the awesome documentation.

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