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

  • Furthermore. . .
    Baby boomers not interested in parents' brown furniture. . ."To make matters worse, young adults don’t seem to want their own college textbooks, sports trophies or T-shirt collections, still entombed in plastic containers at their parents’ homes."More musicians die at 56 than at 27Schools will have to hold lockdown drills under a new Maine law […]
  • Israel killed record number of Palestinians last year
    Guardian - Israel killed more Palestinian civilians in 2014 than in any other year since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip began in 1967, a UN report has said.Israel’s activities in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem resulted in the deaths of 2,314 Palestinians and 17,125 injuries, compared with 39 deaths and 3,964 injuries in 2013, ac […]
  • Joe Biden's strange advice to Jews
    Salon - In the April issue of The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg reports on a remarkable incident last fall at the residence of Vice President Joseph Biden. Speaking before guests—including leaders of Jewish organizations and Jewish officials in the Obama administration—invited to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Biden recalled meeting Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir […]
  • Antarctica's ice shelf melt rate could mean higher oceans than expected
    Take Part - The super size cliffs of ice extending off the Antarctic coast help control the height of the sea worldwide. For centuries, if not millennia, this icy barrier has slowed the flow of the southern continent’s massive freshwater glaciers into the ocean.But the ice shelves themselves are melting at a troubling rate, scientists revealed on Thursday, a […]
  • The making of a mediarchy
    From our overstocked archivesSam Smith, 1988This year's presidential campaign, otherwise without socially redeeming virtue, has at least effectively destroyed the myth of Ronald Reagan as mediameister. George Bush has proved that anybody can do it.This had been long concealed because of a natural confusion between cause and effect. Reagan appeared to be […]
  • The surprising state where all electricity is community owned
    Yes Magazine - In the United States, there is one state, and only one state, where every single resident and business receives electricity from a community-owned institution rather than a for-profit corporation. It is not a famously liberal state like Vermont or Massachusetts. Rather, it is conservative Nebraska, with its two Republican Senators and two (out […]
  • Links: Activism
    Action news Ferguson action How to plan your own Moral Monday Building peace teams Cellphone guide for protesters Why we need history   Corporations that have deserted the US for tax purposes  BOYCOTTS Israel Koch Brothers Land O Lakes Monsanto Nestle Staples Walmart ACTIONS Detroit Water Brigade Moral Mondays Bad Ass Teachers Tar Sands protests Occupy ACLU […]
  • The real economy: Cost of living
    Fewer people skipped needed health care due to its cost or reported trouble paying medical bills in 2014, a new survey finds. These improvements, the first since the Commonwealth Fund began asking these questions roughly a decade ago, came as health reform’s major coverage expansions took effect in 2014. Among the survey’s findings: The number of people ages […]
  • Unemployment insurance at lowest level in three decades
    NNPA - With no federal unemployment insurance and rapidly disappearing state coverage, the percentage of people benefiting from unemployment insurance is at its lowest level in more than three decades, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute.EPI said the unemployment insurance recipient rate tumbled to 23.1 percent in December 2014, beating th […]
  • Thousands protest Indiana anti-gay law
    Reuters  - Thousands of people marched in Indiana's largest city on Saturday to protest a state law that supporters contend promotes religious freedom but detractors see as a covert move to support discrimination against gay people.Waving signs reading "No hate in our state" and carrying rainbow flags, a crowd of at least 2,000 people includin […]
  • Climate change endangers Gulf Stream
    Eco Watch - Climate scientists Michael Mann and Stefan Rahmstorf announced the findings of their new study, which shows that the rapid melting of the polar ice has slowed down currents in the Atlantic Ocean, particularly since 1970. The scientists say “the slowdown in ocean currents will result in sea level rise in cities like New York and Boston, and temper […]
  • A teacher on standardized tests
    Emily Talmage has seven years of teaching experience in New York City and Maine, as well as a masters degree in urban education from Mercy College and a masters degree in developmental psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University.Emily Talmage, Washington Post -  As a teacher of 20 vibrant, curious, and, yes, often challenging fourth graders at Mont […]
  • There are only two big forest areas left in the world
    Think Progress - Findings, published in the journal Science Advances, offer some of the longest-term evidence available on how ecosystems and species react to habitat loss and fragmentation over time. The trend is distinctively negative. “There is a consistent loss of species — birds, butterflies, plants — across every experiment, and these experiments varie […]
  • Higher education costs soaring
    Washington Post - With rare exceptions, sticker prices at colleges go nowhere but up. In 2012, Sarah Lawrence College in New York crossed a threshold for tuition, fees, room and board that dozens of others have now topped: $60,000 a year. Sometime soon, prices will surpass $70,000. Factoring in books, plane tickets, other expenses and inflation, a student en […]
  • Harry Reid may have more than physical health problems
    “The record book that records will be written about the eight years of Obama and Reid, never in the history of the country — never in the history of the country — have we produced more for a president and somebody that’s led his party than we’ve done together,” - Harry Reid  on KNPR radio. […]