ArtCenter’s Archetype Press is California’s largest letterpress printing facility, providing students with a full-immersion typographic education.
Archetype Press offers students the unique opportunity to practice what has become a Digital Age rarity: setting type and printing by hand. Archetype’s collection of rare American and European metal foundry type, wood type and ornaments—originally belonging to Vern Simpson’s legendary typesetting shop in Hollywood—is the largest in California, and among the largest of any design school in the country. The extensive metal and wood type collection resides in 2,500 antique wooden drawers. Students learn to set and print type on an impressive set of printing presses: nine Vandercook proof presses, a Chandler & Price platen press and a Heidelberg Windmill press.
Under the leadership of professor and current director Gloria Kondrup, Archetype Press was relocated to ArtCenter’s South Campus to provide a more flexible space, enabling students to actively participate in the cultural heritage of typography, print culture and the book arts.