Letterpress in Germany

Hi everyone,

I have begun the process of applying for a Printmaking Travel Fellowship granted through my Alma Mater. I must choose a location outside of the United States and provided reasons (along with a detailed itinerary) as to why that particular destination would benefit my own artistic process.

Since my focus is in Letterpress, I am looking to put together an educational trip to a place rich in its history but still active in printing. A place where I could actively participate and create work, instead of just browsing museums.

I have heard about Germany, specifically Berlin, Mainz (Gutenberg Museum) and Leipzig (Museum of Printing Arts) being areas of interest, but my question to you all is if anybody out there has had personal experience with letterpress outside of the United States and would be able to recommend to me any impressive shops, foundries, professional presses, specific places, etc. I am absolutely willing to research any place - Germany has just been in my head because of its history.


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This sounds very exciting (in a stimulating, academic sort of way). I’ll be interested to read of your progress, though sadly I’ll have nothing to add because of my own lack of experience with the locations you’re describing, though I’ve drooled over the Collotype museum’s website.

Don’t overlook France either — there are some excellent collections and the Imprimerie Royale was famous. Claude Garamond’s type is one of the excellent book faces, and the Diderot dictionary depicts many aspects of the printing craft.

There was also, and may still be, a thriving letterpress printing industry in India, including, at least until recently, several of the last remaining active type foundries in the world.


And a place which is manufacturing knockoff chandler and price letterpresses with sandcasting or some other method. How many companies are actually remanufacturing that style of hand fed platen presses?

Anyone remember the chrome plated models that came up a while back?