Monday, September 6, 2010

Inspired: Letterpress

Two of Mr. Kennedy's prints. The one on the left features Rural Studio co-founder Samuel Mockbee's famous phrase, "Proceed and be bold." The poster on the right is for a film festival put on by the Rural Studio.

I'm extremely fond of letterpress work, so I was excited to learn about Brooklyn-based public access letterpress studio, The Arm. For newbies, like me, they offer workshops and one-on-one training. The Arm has several different presses available to the public. Their studio is open for use, by appointment, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.'s posters first drew me to the look of the letterpress. At the age of 40, Mr. Kennedy gave up his job as a computer programmer to begin a career in letterpress printing. From his studio in Gordo, Alabama, Mr. Kennedy designs posters featuring bold phrases with themes of religion, race, and the arts. He designs many posters for events, both local and nation-wide. During my semester at the Rural Studio, I had the opportunity to visit Mr. Kennedy in his old studio in Akron, Alabama. The building is a former project of the Rural Studio.

Mr. Kennedy's former studio in Akron, Alabama

Film-maker Laura Zinger has produced a documentary called Proceed and Be Bold about Mr. Kennedy and his career. You can learn more about the film and see the trailer on the film's website, and you can read an article about the film on Etsy's blog, The Storque. You can purchase Proceed and Be Bold here.

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