The changing face of contemporary letterpress in Australia

Caren Florance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


‘Australian interest in fine printing, letterpress or offset, has always been delicate,’ said Geoffrey Farmer in 1999.1 This is still true today, when there is far more international interest in Australian output than there is within the country itself. Australia has always had distinct waves of fine press and book art activity that surge and recede, connected to groups of people and similar waves of educational and technical opportunities.2 One such surge was around the early 1970s, when printing technology drastically transformed (yet again) and letterpress was easily and cheaply come by; with it came a solid wave of activity that then seemed to crash and break in the mid to late 1990s.3 It is important, for the purposes of this paper, to separate ‘fine printing’ from ‘letterpress usage’, because in the space between the late 1990s to now, there has been more than a millennial turn.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-76
Number of pages12
JournalThe La Trobe Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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