Cryer publishes The Romance of Letterpress

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Print industry recruiter James Cryer has self-published The Romance of Letterpress, a diary of his grandfather’s travels as he journeyed across the US as a 21-year-old freshly-minted letterpress printer from Sydney.

James Cryer: diary discovery
James Cryer: diary discovery

The book, which took six years in the making, and involved extensive research, documents the experiences of Wal Cryer from 1913-1914, captures the essence of society before the Great War, examines the contrast between two cultures, and highlights the impact of printing processes and products during that time.

"The starting point of the project was in 2014 when I discovered the diary in my father's study," Cryer told Print21, adding that the postcards were "quite coincidently" retrieved from his cousin's attic not long after that.

Illustrated with a wealth of postcards written by Wal Cryer, which were sent to his fiancé at the time, the book was designed by Roger Cole, and printed on-demand on the Fujifilm Iridesse Production Press by Intertype in Melbourne.

It was printed in landscape to illustrate the postcards to best advantage but according to Cryer "presented some issues."

James Cryer's book: The Romance of Letterpress
James Cryer's book: The Romance of Letterpress

Cryer said the pandemic impacted on production, he said, "With Melbourne in long lockdown with Covid, it took around 18 months instead of six to be printed."

However, the end product is a beautiful 162 page tome, which features a 'book belongs to me' card as an example of what a two-colour letterpress printed product looked like a century ago.

The cards were printed by Sydney-based Watermark Graphics,using a special deckle-edge die, on Gmund Max White cotton rag supplied by Ball & Doggett Australia.

The Romance of Letterpress book is available now for AU$64.95 (including postage and packing in Australia). To purchase here.


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