New Wood Type

Since my plate maker increased prices at the beginning of the year, I’ve been trying to get creative with the plates I have and use more moveable type (something I’ve been wanting to do anyway!). I have lots of beautiful quotes on my to-do list, but I don’t have enough characters in my larger typefaces to print an entire quote. Thus, I’ve been on the hunt for complete sets of wood type for a few weeks.

I can’t tell you how frustrating the search is—90% of what I find is ridiculously expensive “curated” collections of a few characters pulled from full sets to spell “LOVE” or “FAMILY” so someone can set them on a shelf. Why anyone would ruin a priceless set of vintage wood type to make a knock-off of something found at Hobby Lobby is beyond me.

Imagine my relief when I found Virgin Wood Type, a company making brand new wood type for letterpress printing in western New York. The undertaking must be a labor (lots and lots of labor) of love for proprietor Bill and I can’t even explain how ecstatic I was to find his work! Watch how it’s done here. I just ordered a small set to try it out and I’ve already picked the first full font I’m planning to buy if all goes well. Stay tuned and if you can, support Virgin Wood Type!

8 thoughts on “New Wood Type

  1. New Wood Type, Excellent! (Also regarding, “Why anyone would ruin a priceless set of vintage wood type to make a knock-off of something found at Hobby Lobby is beyond me.” GOOD QUESTION!)

  2. I found your 622press site on Etsy and your cards were familiar somehow. I must have been following a link from the message that you left on the blog. I also think I have your order from the other day for 12 line Shadow and type high wood cuttings. My wife has been making prints using some of my off cuts. Someday I will photo some of the prints and put them on my site. She has sold a few at various events that she has taken them to.

    I also have boxes of type that I acquired when I bought the equipment to start making type. Send me a few of the words that you need type for and I will see what I can find for you.


    1. Yup, that’s my order! Can’t wait :) What a generous offer! The problem I run into is that I just have one or two of each character in my only wood set right now… so I’ll really take anything you’ve got!

      I’d love to see her prints! You’ll have to let me know when you have time to post them, I’ll share them with readers here too!

  3. Hmmmm…I am impressed that you want to use movable type. Many plate printers I have seen (well, most) use plates exclusively. I am considering going the plate route for custom cuts in addition to movable type. I find the faces used on movable type, because it’s an older technology, look more vintage than type set on a computer. I suppose you can use a face that’s older but the spacing on a computer looks very different than movable type. Best of luck with your Virgin Type purchase.

    1. The vintage look is in fact precisely what I’m after! There’s a spirit in moveable type that is difficult to capture via digital methods. I do use a lot of plates designed in Illustrator, but beleive it or not, the old type and cuts still print better than the new ones. Thanks for joining the conversation!

      1. I think too, that posters like the Hatch ones use a lot of woodcuts. In your case (and mine), linoleum can serve the same purpose. Nothing quite like a hand carved image to say vintage 8-D

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