Heavy Metal – Letterpress Typesetting with Metal Type

Only FOUR places available for our brand new Letterpress and Metal Type workshop.

This unique  two-day workshop (Sunday, March 15 and Sunday, March 22) is a rare opportunity to learn about true Letterpress, it is about metal typography and Letterpress. No polymer plates. You will be placed in the hands of a highly respected expert to learn how to set and print metal type by hand on both a cylinder proof press and a hand-fed platen press. Covering the minutiae of handsetting, locking up and makeready of Letterpress. I am super proud that this workshop introduces Carolyn Fraser of Idlewild Press to our family of typographic experts that includes Stephen Banham and Niko Spelbrink. 

  • Date & time

    15 March 2015
    2 available places
    Book now
  • Location

    Idlewild Press, 15-25 Keele Street Collingwood 3066
  • Cost


The workshop's focus on mechanical typography is the best way to understand the physical restrictions and challenges of spacing with typography, specifically within words, lines and margins. Learning these skills and techniques challenges you to re-evaluate your design practice and awareness of type, with the aim to create contemporary work using antiquated methods. Combine this with experimenting through the use of the tactile elements of paper stock, ink consistency, and collaborating with a team over the press, and you have yourself an enriching two days of learning and discovery through the rewarding process of hands-on production.

Carolyn is well respected by everyone in the industry for her depth of knowledge about setting type by hand, ink, and printing. She is also well known for being incredibly thoughtful, helpful and generous. In the world of Letterpress, she is a genuine craftsperson who really knows her craft, and she comes with extensive teaching experience. 

You’ll leave knowing how to recognise a tight tympan, how to check roller height and all about the finer points of good inking. You’ll learn how to feed the press, maintain ink levels, avoid offset and maintain registration. You’ll take home comprehensive notes and a completed project of your own design. 

And you will do this working around at her studio: The Idlewild Press in the Compound Interest in Collingwood. 


Who this is suitable for

Anyone who wants to broaden their understanding of typography by using the traditional methods of typesetting. Typesetting with physical letters will suit those who want to really grasp the skills of dealing with spacing and layout of typography, and the limits and possibilites of the metal type process, components and materials.

Graphic designers and typographers would especially benefit from this workshop, so prior knowledge of design or visual arts would be an appropriate level to complete the workshop.


What you will get

Students will leave with a beautifully printed piece of their own design.

All materials provided.

A highly comprehensive resource of notes and further reading to develop your knowledge of typographic history and letterpress technique.


You will need to bring

Your lunch 

Your lunch

An apron



Two-day workshop:

Sunday March 15, 10am–5pm


Sunday March 22, 10am–5pm. 


Sturdy covered footwear. Please do not wear good clothes as you will be working with greasy ink

Please note –  We are unable to refund workshop fees, so please check your dates carefully before purchasing a ticket !