Brian Donaghey on letterpress printing

In this video, Brian S. Donaghey, talks about his passion for the letterpress and shows the process of printing. He runs his own workshop Officina Donagheana in Brisbane since 1963.

The video was commisioned by The Open College of the Arts (OCA), a distance learning college specialising in the creative arts. Based in the UK, but with students from all around the world.

Inspired by the challenge of hands-on tweaks and unpredictable results as well as the tactile qualities of different inks, papers, and binding techniques, today’s creatives are rediscovering old-fashioned printing methods and crafts. They are inspired by passion for the unique; the feel of different papers, press cuts, and embossing; the brilliance of printing inks; and the originality of book binding techniques.

Today’s fascination with old-fashioned printing presses and techniques started with individual designers and smaller collectives that created one-of-a-kind printed material by hand for special occasions, such as weddings or birthdays. Business cards, invitations, stationery, and publications are designed and produced in a way that is both nostalgic and contemporary. Historical styles—from the Victorian grandeur of floral elements and adornments to the aesthetics of classical modernism—are used and referenced as well as combined and reinterpreted in unusual ways. What counts is doing it yourself.