Sunday, October 16, 2011

LA Printers Fair

A couple weekends ago, N and I went to the LA Printers Fair. I found out about it from Craft--a really hit-and-miss blog, but sometimes it digs up hidden this fair. And the blog isn't even specific to LA (it just covers general craft projects), so I was really lucky to find it there!

The first thing I saw about this fair was that it was going to be held at the International Printing Museum. First off, I had no idea such a museum existed and I thought it was fantastic that it does. Then I was very excited to see that it's located in Carson, less than an hour's drive south of us! I made immediate plans to attend the next day.

The fair (and the museum!) did not disappoint. The museum had old presses and printers all over the place and a few volunteer guides who showed how they work. I loved watching the old Heidelberg presses--it's mesmerizing seeing them go. And the final printed pieces look fantastic.

We walked into one room where people were lined up for...something. I didn't even know what it was for, but I figured I should join in. I eventually figured out that everyone was waiting to have a custom metal slug with their name on it produced on the spot for $1! I got way too excited about it. Watching the Linotype machine working was amazing:

And right after our slugs were produced, they used them to print a little decorative card on a Vandercook Proof Press:

Here's a close up of the slugs we took home with us. Neat, huh?:

There were also a bunch of graphic designers/vendors selling their letterpressed cards and calendars. And there were actual old printers for sale! Really old ones (most were missing parts, completely rusted and needed repair) but I had a good time longingly gazing at them. And wondering how they work. And if I'd ever be able to have one of my own...

Anyway, along with printers there were also a lot of old random metal type pieces for sale, including this set of absolutely tiny Chinese characters which was amazing (click on the photo to zoom in, please):

The fair was great and I am really, really glad that we went. And to's lots more photos!:

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