Facebook Group - Wood Type for Decoration :

So depressing… there should be a law against this….https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vintage-Letterpress-Byron-Bay/359943314129103?ref=stream

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Let’s spam them. Nothing like a few hundred unsolicited wall posts on the internet to bite into your day.

Wait! Not so fast…. I think I see a letter I need…

Aaaaaarrrgh !
It is depressing………

Why should there be “a law against it”?
William Amer, Rockley NSW


I think people here are discouraged to see what appear to complete printable fonts parted out for decorative purposes. I know in the states the cost of a full set of vintage type has become so prohibitive that a lot of printers can only dream of having sets to actually print with. Once a font is separated it is virtually impossible to reunite them again and that piece of history is lost forever. It would be the equivalent (to printers anyway) of taking a great classic car like a perfect unrestored Jaguar E-type, pulling it apart and selling off each individual piece to try and maximize profit with no regard for the fact that it was one of the few originals remaining in the world. Unlawful, not really - but unethical? Some probably think so. When I meet dealers at markets with stalls like the one shown, I try and convince them to offer up full sets to those who would use them for their intended purpose again - especially more unique or valuable fonts. I now have a dealer who calls me when he gets complete fonts and we have a nice arrangement where I buy them complete and he is able to turn over full sets at a profit almost immediately. Works for both of us….

I am helping a local non profit art group set up and run print making classes. One of the tasks I have been charged with is collecting a variety of type. We originally thought we would use wood type… you can guess how well that is going with their non existent budget.

There is a lot of metal type out there but the shipping is crazy expensive because of the weight.

If anyone has any type - does not have to be full sets, metal or wood that they are not using and would like to see go to a worthy cause, drop me a line. The group is the Brantford Arts Block, the classes are starting up this fall.

Paul -

Location, location, location!!!!! Where the heck are you??? That will make a lot of difference in the viability of people being able to deliver things to you. There is a world of difference if you are in the midwest or in Nome, Alaska.


Hey - excuse me. The world revolves around America.

Yes it does, simply because we are the letterpress center of the universe.


“Should there be a law against it?” I’ve been composing my response for a few days now and my answer is: No, there shouldn’t be a law against it and what is more its not unethical or immoral for a person who owns something, legitimately, from selling what he/she owns, for profit. Let me explain my position on this issue. I’ve held my place in letterpress printing since 1966, on leaving school and starting my apprenticeship as a compositor and continue to do so today. So my thinking is from the heart and very expensive, hard-won experience. I maintain that I am not beholden to anyone, established or new-comer to letterpress printing, for what I do with my assets. I saved my pennies till I could pay the asking price, I saw the future and spent many decades collecting and gathering for my future and that of my wife and children. I paid and laboured without complaint or expectation that anybody would give me anything for nothing, just because I took a fancy to it. My foresight and industry places me in the position that I can do what I will with my assets. As an aside, for an example my house; If someone took a liking to my house, and if it was for sale, why should I be obliged to sell it at less than the market or asking price on the whim of an incompetent buyer? The same for my machines and type. The printing industry has always been plagued by influxes of new-comers and poor business people who will do work for little or nothing and then from premises that undercut market prices. Most of us who committed to the trade never had the benefit of big wages or superannuation because of a frail industry, in parts, and so we made other plans for our future, therefore if a merchant wants to sell off parts from a machine or items of type for profit that is their/my decision. People should realise that the industry now belongs to no-one, but I belong to my family and will do anything legal to look after them, even if it offends some. If you can’t afford to be in the industry, look somewhere else, that is good business acumen. I prove myself to my many students, they leave me with a grounding in good letterpress knowledge, expecting to work hard and intelligently planning for their future in letterpress printing. Finally, I dream of owning a vintage 1928 Dodge Tourer motor car. For the moment I can’t afford it. One day when I’m too old and frail to operate my heavy letterpress equipment I will sell it to the highest bidder by any process, so then to afford the car and go touring. Why should I not expect to pay the seller of that car his price, just because I lust after it?

I hope you do not have to buy that 1928 Dodge in pieces from multiple sources, because the owner realized that the parts were more valuable than the car as a whole….

Pressed Letters, looking at the condition of your type,
your Dodge might need a lot of work.

rontxhou: I probably wouldn’t buy on that basis or unless I could afford to have it rebuilt by a tradesman motor mechanic.
james bourland: don’t understand your comment.

Try this…. one piece at at time

L. P. E. (with Honours!) You sure know your J.C. so says,
?The *Old Goat/Old Git* from Blighty!!
Actually not so far fetched as one might think,??? Our Adana starter kits, traditionally came with, a fairly limited range of type, i.e.8,10, 12, 14, 18, 24, point type in maximum of 3 Faces, Serif & Sans Serif, with the revival in full swing, *one piece at a time* is not so out of the question. Thank you, and how looks the *Kluge*, these days, and have you escaped from that hideous *Pantone Red* nail varnish yet.!!!! or are you colour co-ordinating the “Lippy* non intended, Mick.

When I bought my press at auction in 1982 I was the only bidder. Then the type came up for sale and the room went nuts! I had to pay double the price of the press to get the type…because so many people wanted the letters for “Decoration”.