Local Learning

3B Letterpress Print
Image of 3B Letterpress – EDGY Collection by The Type Junkie. $12 for a 5″x7″ print on etsy.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love school. There are so many classes in the area that I’d love to take advantage of and lately I have been dying to do something with my hands. So I’m making it a point to sign up for at least one class this fall and/or winter (I may be too late for quite a few of these. To start off the decision-making process, I decided to put together a list of the ones I’m interested in. And of course there are a ton, so I’ll be splitting them up into categories, starting with letterpress. As I’ve mentioned before, I have some experience working with photopolymer plates, but I’ve never printed with wood or metal type, so I’m interested in learning more about all aspects of the artform.

There is actually an abundance of letterpress classes here in the city, so many of these teaching facilities offer more than one class each season. Check out the links below for more information.

  1. The Arm NYC: Offerings include day-long workshops on the Vandercook Press, as well as “Printing Poetry: a Letterpress Workshop. Classes are held often and also provide you with the skills and knowledge to take advantage of the presses and other equipment in their public access letterpress studio. In addition to classes, you can also rent press time and sign up for one-on-one lessons.
  2. Studio on the Square: Classes here focus on letterpress and bookbinding, but just in terms of letterpress, they offer a pretty wide variety of day-long and multi-week classes. Current classes range from a basic introductory class to the more specific business card workshop. Make sure to sign up for their mailing list for more up-to-date information.
  3. The Center for Book Arts: The CBA offers classes in letterpress—both hand typesetting and contemporary printing—as well as various bookbinding topics on weekdays, weeknights and weekends throughout the fall.
  4. School of the Visual Arts: SVA offers an introductory letterpress class as well as a project-based class (canceled for this fall unfortunately). These seem to be a bit pricer than the others, but they run through a whole semester.
  5. Cooper Union: Only one class is offered through their continuing education program, Letterpress Printing on the Vandercook Press, but the curriculum sounds great. Time to work on self-initiated projects, exploring finishes like die cuts and foil stamping, sound especially enticing.
  6. Make Workshop: It doesn’t look like Make is offering any letterpress classes right now, but in the past they have had several project-based classes. Given by Sesame Letterpress, last spring’s courses included “monogrammed notecards” and “make your own coasters”. I’d definitely sign up for the mailing list to keep up with their schedule.

By all means, let me know if I’ve missed any others that you know of.


Courtney is the founder of Design Work Life and Seamless Creative, a small design studio she runs with her husband Brian. She now splits her time between developing brand identities for small businesses and soaking up (and passing along) as much inspiration as she possibly can.

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