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DVC professor helping keep the art of typeset alive

Ali Lee, Staff member

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DVC art professor Toru Sugita recently teamed up with a guest speaker to demonstrate the lost art of typeset and share why it still has a purpose in this day and age, and maybe even in the future.

“There will always be a need and interest for typeset and letterpress as long as people appreciate the physical presence of art,” said Sugita.

Typeset is an art form that people aren’t using much anymore, thanks primarily to computers.

For about 13 years, Mary Huizinga has been practicing typeset and taking classes to enable her to get better and pick up new ways to express herself artistically.

“Typeset is an old way to do something that is very easy to do on a computer now, but it has much personality within it and takes years of skills and dedication,” said DVC typeset student Sophie Burke.

Typeset isn’t the most practical way to do lettering these days, but there are people who are still attempting to keep it around. The art of typeset takes lots of practice and patience, and because it is an older type of art, typeset’s history is what makes it so interesting.

“There are a number of people across the country buying up any letterpress equipment they can find, and fixing up and using them to print greeting cards and wedding invitations,” said Huizinga.

People with a love for typeset are what will keep this specialized art alive.

“It is a shame if we were to lose the art completely,” said Huizinga, who is Sugita’s studio mate.

Even though almost every industry is reliant on computers now, it’s important to know where we started when it comes to lettering. As Sugita explained, everything we do on computers is coming from the tradition of typeset.

Although the future for typeset is grim, there still is hope for new equipment at DVC.

According to Sugita, typography and printmaking are collaborating to hopefully expand the study of this specialized art and create more type faces and possibly a new letterpress.

“I hope that the more people will start to see the importance in the skill of typeset and want to bring it back,” said Burke.



Individual letter sorts to choose from.


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The student news site of Diablo Valley College.
DVC professor helping keep the art of typeset alive