Press Please! Letterpress Kit

With over a thousand years of history, Chinese letterpress is now a dying tradition. To raise awareness and preserve the craft, this project makes the unique experience of letterpress printing easily accessible to a wider audience through a convenient and affordable kit.

Once considered one of the Four Great Inventions of Ancient China, traditional Chinese letterpress is no longer a sustainable practice in its country of origin. This is due to factors such as material sourcing, intensive cost and labour, heavy time consumption and a lack of public support. In order to raise awareness and preserve the craft, this project brings the unique experience of letterpress printing right to your doorstep—believing that if you experience for yourself how something is made, you will understand its value.

Introducing the Press Please! Letterpress Kit—a starter kit containing everything you need to begin printing from the comfort of your home. All you have to do is arrange the dividers according to your paper size, typeset using the movable types and spacers, apply ink to the types and press your paper on top to transfer the ink.

In order to make it compact and convenient to bring around, the packaging doubles as a printing press and storage space for all the different letterpress components. Designed to be fully modular, the press can also be divided into different sizes depending on your project needs. It is made completely with wood and cardboard, as they are sturdy, lightweight and affordable. The movable types, on the other hand, are made by attaching 3D-printed characters to wooden blocks. Not only is it more affordable than the traditional metal, the materials and services are also easily sourced. The use of 3D printers reduces the need for labour to produce metal types, and the resin is just as durable.

To make the kit even more accessible, users can download the Press Please! mobile app. Through the app, they can customize and design their own movable types, have it 3D-printed and delivered to their doorstep—removing the need for complicated or expensive design softwares.

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