Categorized | Media, Scene, State

The Church of Type

 

Letterpress Font and Beauty

Award-Winning **VIDEO**

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

It’s been a long and archaic journey.

For 15 years Kevin Bradley lived in Knoxville, Tennessee, as co-founder of the design studio and letterpress giant Yee-Haw Industries, churning out fine-art prints, commemorative and promotional concert posters, album art and even wedding invitations, using 200-year old equipment in the same tradition as Guttenberg and the original printing press.

Kevin has covered the globe with a range of ephemera and custom typographic fine art prints for a litany of clients. His new company, the Church of Type in Santa Monica, California, represents his newest venture.  In 2013 he moved 30 tons of letterpress equipment across the country to bring his own vision and style to the epicenter of American Culture.

“I am using the old stuff, but I’m making a contemporary print with it,” Bradley says.  His slogan is “Art for the People, Since 1987.”

“I’ve rescued 200 years of beautiful type as well as plates …I always wanted to make a new print with the old stuff.”

He showcases a set of plates with images on metal.  

“In these drawers, I have the entire history of pro wrestling and boxing.  They would develop the photograph on the metal, put a line screen on it, match it with acid, and then they would mount it on wood for printing.  That’s how the newspapers were printed back in the day,” he says with pride.

For 25 years, Bradley has been scouring old barns and basements east of the Mississippi for these rare fonts and types from the 1800s and 1900s.  His business houses one of the most extensive wood and metal type collections in use today: multiple letters and sizes comprising over 1,000 fonts of moveable type and in-house, hand-carved woodblocks, all printed on a 4’x10’ Takach press.

He wants to bring to life the way the world communicated hundreds of years ago, only in a modern way — much like how modern folk musicians keep old songs alive, bringing them to contemporary listeners in new forms and textures.

He considers himself a graphic designer, an illustrator, a painter, print maker, editor, copywriter– even a janitor.  But at the most basic level, he’s a typographer — a last craftsman in a dying profession.

“I’ve got all this type, and I’ve got to figure out how to use it and get people to see it,” Bradley said.

Church of Type is much more than just a printing shop for Bradley; it’s a means of communication that steps into the mythology of man, to the campfire, to that archetypal yearning for the power of the word mixed with the smell of the ink and the wood and the dust.

Across the walls he has a series of original images — robots, dinosaurs, Godzilla.  Each of them is made with letters, which you can see when you look up close.

He’s constantly experimenting every day with the form.

“It’s a repository of the real stuff,” says Bradley.  “It’s my Church of Type.  The word on the page is a powerful thing.  When the power goes out, I will be king.”

~Via Kevin Bradley, LA Weekly, and Vimeo

If you liked this story, you may enjoy our other one, On With the Show

 

Thank you for making us the best
little blog in Humboldt.

Please share and follow us
on Twitter and Facebook

One Response to “The Church of Type”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] If you liked this story, you may also enjoy our other one, The Church of Type [...]


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Medical research is badly flawed. . .And look who says so
    Global Research - In the past few years more professionals have come forward to share a truth that, for many people, proves difficult to swallow. One such authority is Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of the Lancet – considered to be one of the most well respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world.Dr. Horton recently published a stat […]
  • Bike thief explains the tricks
    NBC Washington […]
  • The glut of unexaminded rape kits
    Terry Gross, NPR - Rachel Dissell, discovered that in her state, Ohio, thousands of rape kits, dating back to 1993, were being stored, untested, with no follow-up. Rapists who might've been convicted were free to assault other women. Dissell's investigation with her colleague Leila Atassi on sexual assaults and the backlog of rape kits led to a new […]
  • How the right is kiiling the humanities
    In These Times - In early February, Governor and Republican presidential hopeful Scott Walker drafted a draconian state budget that proposed to decrease the state’s contribution to the University of Wisconsin system by over $300 million over the next two years. Beyond simply slashing spending, Walker was also attempting to alter the language that has guided […]
  • Cities ranked by LGBT resident percentage
    Vox […]
  • Liberation theology gets some respect
    NY Times […]
  • The killer in my classroom
    Steven Singer, Gadfly on the Wall - A parade of faces. No names. Words are all lost in the haze of time. But the faces remain. Kids I’ve taught and wondered about. What ever happened to Jason? Did Rayvin ever get into dance school? I wonder if the army took Tyler… But there’s one face that always comes last. A strong straight lip. Soft nose. Brooding eyes. T […]
  • Links; War & peace
    NEWS Peace War Department Torture Veterans   ESSAYS War on terror: Misnamed, misfought, misthought Behind the Paris killings Backing off of hate The good thing about war Essays on war Mission creep: the militarizing of America Spooks & spies All war all the time The biggest threast to us: ourselves Why is the military sacred? A speech CSPAN didn't l […]
  • Word
    Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they cha […]
  • Rand Paul compared national healthcare to slavery
    Rand Paul, 2011 - With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who […]
  • Dublin today
     Karl […]
  • Word
    Des Wilson - The Church of England has decided that bishops can have civil partnerships provided they do not actually have sex together. I propose: l) people can go to restaurants - but only if they do not eat 2) people can get in to swimming pools provided they don't get wet 3) people can go to church provided they don't listen to a word they […]
  • Another banker found dead
    There have been scores of bankers who have committed suicide or found dead under uncertain circumstances in the last few years. Here's the latest:Bloomberg -  Murray Abbott, an institutional sales trader at Morgan Stanley in Toronto who had been missing since April 25, was found Monday by the shore of Lake Ontario near the city’s Beaches neighborhood wh […]
  • Ireland approves same sex marriage
    CNN - Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote on Saturday... With votes tallied from nearly all of Ireland's 43 parliamentary constituencies, the measure will sail through with more than 60% of voters approving, according to official results...More than 1.8 million Irish voters participated in t […]
  • How TPP could affect freedom of speech
    Hundreds of tech companies and digital rights groups havesigned a letter to Congress that outlines some of the freedom of speech issues in TPP. Excerpt: • Threats to Fair Use: The TPP contains language that could prevent countries from expanding exceptions and limitations to copyright. The Fast Track Bill also contains nothing to promote balance in copyright […]