Letterpress an Election Day Keepsake at the ASU Book Arts Studio

Just in time for Election Day, Dan Mayer has some serious eye candy.

The local creative is an instructional specialist at ASU who runs the university's book arts/letterpress studio. In the studio, Mayer says students learn fine typography through handset type, print on hand presses, resulting in limited-edition handmade books, prints and artists books.

And tomorrow, he's welcoming the public to play student and handprint their own keepsake on a letterpress and "get a hands-on sense of history as it unfolds throughout the Election Day."

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Mayer says he designed the keepsake in the style of early American Broadsides with various typefaces, printer's ornaments and decorative printer's rules.

"Broadsides were used for disseminating information such as song ballads, scaffold speeches, political events, disasters, advertisements and curiosities," he says. "They were read in town squares and then posted for others to read. Not as fast as twitter, but just as effective for the time. Today we still see remnants of the early broadside form with notices in city centers such as 'post no bills' or 'handbills.'"

Several lines on Mayer's Election Day Keepsake read:

"Classically letterpress printed in the style of real printing, by the people, for the people" "Your right to vote comes from the 15th and 19th Amendments" "Power of the press belongs to those who own one"

The event is free and open to the public tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Art Building on the Tempe Campus at 900 S. Forest Mall. The Letterpress Studio is in Room 45.

For more information about Mayer, ASU's Printmaking Program, and Pyracantha Press, where Mayer collaborates with writers and artists in the studio to produce limited-edition book, check out the Herberger School of Art website.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton