Designing by hand, leaving the computer for a bit

Over the weekend, I have been enjoying a letterpress course at GWA in Amsterdam North. This course teaches you everything you need to know about letterpress, the use of letterpress materials, and creating ideas and concepts for your work. But most importantly, at least for me, it takes you away from the computer and makes you explore a new way of looking at graphic design.

May 19, 2022


Creative Development

Designing by hand, leaving the computer for a bit

Almost all the work I do is centred around digital materials. Whether it’s a film/photo camera, a laptop, a Wacom, a mouse, a tablet, etc., technology is so often at the centre of visual and conceptual creation. This can be super beneficial, as it makes re-doing mistakes very easy and you can track your progression really fast. But it also takes something away from you; the magical experience of working with your hands and seeing mistakes as opportunities to create something unexpected and unique.

During the Letterpress course, I had to step away from a lot of the handy tools I have in Illustration and Procreate. Since your letter has already been printed, there is no way to undo your mistake. And to re-do the print, you need to re-do the ink, place the paper, roll the machine, and the result will most probably be ever so slightly different.

I would recommend to everyone, whatever job you do, whatever hobby you have, or your age, to put down the computer more often and go back to creating by hand. Explore old printing techniques, bookbinding methods, or drawing skills; it’s so much fun!

Here is a collection of quick images I took during the course to hopefully inspire you to put down your laptop for a while and learn some new skills!