In residential colleges, preserving a tradition Gutenberg would recognize
Just a few decades ago, every residential college at Yale College housed its own traditional printing press as a service to students. Although most of those presses have disappeared in the face of digital technologies and graphic design software, there are still three presses within Yale College that practice typography as Johannes Gutenberg envisioned it 600 years ago.
In a video, a group of Yale community members who are helping to keep this tradition alive share a glimpse into the process of letterpress printing and explain why it remains a vital domain for promoting creativity — and a “priceless” opportunity for Yale students.
“The era of letterpress really wasn’t that long ago,” says Jesse Marsolais, printer for the Jonathan Edwards Printing Press. “And I think allowing students to participate in it helps collapse time in a way and connects them to a deeper tradition.”