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

  • What Hillary Clinton has been illegal since 1995
    Shannen Coffin, National Review -  One of the Clinton camp’s principal arguments in defense of her shadow e-mail account is that the law did not plainly forbid this conduct until 2013–14, when Congress enacted a statute that prohibited the use of private e-mails to conduct official business unless the official forwarded to or copied an official e-mail accoun […]
  • A congressional protest that worked
    Jim Pagels, Hit & Run - Merrymaking insurgents struck a major victory in the War On Fun Thursday, sledding to their hearts' content on the Capitol Hill West Lawn and forcing the police into a retreat. Cops kicked off sledders two weeks ago, and ahead of Thursday's snow, Capitol Police Board chairman Frank Larkin said he would not temporarily li […]
  • Books: Teaching peace
    Murray Polner, History News Network -  Can teaching peace and nonviolence to students make a difference in their lives? Colman McCarthy, who spent three decades as a Washington Post columnist, has certainly tried in his own very unique way by persuading school boards and principals to hire him as an unpaid volunteer teacher of “peace studies.” His motivation […]
  • There, I fixed it
    Fail Blog […]
  • 70 years of the United Nations and global demographics
    Joseph Chamie, IPS -  As the international community marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, one question worthy of some reflection is: Is world population better or worse off demographically since the establishment of the U.N.?Some contend that the demography of today's world population is markedly better than it was seven dec […]
  • Word
    Patriotism is often an abitrary veneration of real estate above principles -- George Nathan […]
  • FBI treats whistleblowers badly
    Washington Post - Compared with other feds, FBI whistleblowers have less protection against retaliation by management, the GAO says, and current procedures could discourage whistleblowing.The GAO found that a major problem is the limited list of officials designated to receive whistleblower complaints. If FBI employees report waste, fraud or governmental abu […]
  • States have dismantled work comp system
    Pro Publica - Over the past decade, state after state has been dismantling America’s workers’ comp system with disastrous consequences for many of the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer serious injuries at work each year, a ProPublica and NPR investigation has found.The cutbacks have been so drastic in some places that they virtually guarantee injure […]
  • Unemployment falls in every state
    Unemployment fell in every state and the nation’s capital last year—something that hadn’t happened since 1984. […]
  • Morning line
    In our moving average of recent polls, Bush leads leads by three points over Walker followed by Carson and Huckabee. They are the only Republicans in double digits. […]
  • Hillary Clinton's glass ceiling
    Weekly Standard - In late February, Hillary Clinton, a self-proclaimed champion of women's rights and gender equity, came under fire for a Washington Free Beacon analysis that showed women on Mrs. Clinton's staff during her tenure in the Senate were paid an average of 72 cents on the dollar compared to male staff. Now, an analysis of the latest IRS […]
  • TV violence isn't all fun
     From our overstocked archivesSam Smith, Idler, 1965 - One of the things that impressed us about the interim report on television and juvenile delinquency published recently by Senator Dodd’s subcommittee was the amount of dedicated thought and preparation that goes into saturating the air with video mayhem. Producing and writing violence shows isn’t all fun […]
  • Using private emails helped bring down ambassador
    Weekly Standard - In 2012, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration abruptly stepped down from his post. According to a Foreign Policy report by Josh Rogin (now a reporter for Bloomberg), Gration was the subject of a whithering evaluation from the State Department:While Gration was fired for a myriad of reasons, one passage of the damning report leaps out in l […]
  • Dramatic ice thinning in the Arctic
    Take Part - In a new University of Washington study, researchers found that in one part of the Arctic, sea ice has thinned about 65 percent--from 11 feet to 4 feet—since 1975. In September, when Arctic sea ice typically reaches its lowest levels, the ice thinned by 85 percent, The Guardian reports. The new study is based on a variety of sources, and was publ […]
  • Snowden update
    Glenn Greenwald, First Look - In Moscow, Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena held a press conference to promote his new book, was asked about Snowden’s case, and said exactly what has been known for almost two years: “He has a desire to go back, and we are doing everything possible to make that happen.” Kucherena added that lawyers in various countrie […]