February 14, 2013
Since 1880, Hamilton Wood Type and Museum has been a champion for type. Dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type, the Hamilton is sure make an impression on any typography enthusiast.
Does it sound too old and not app-worthy? The Hamilton is a short road trip to Two Rivers, Wis., and a must for anyone who enjoys a good serif or sans serif. When the museum’s new location opens this summer, you can check out the tools of the first great information revolution. As a wood type lover, I am giddy with excitement. People making things with their hands and a whole lot of heart will never get old.
Bill Moran (my friend) serves from St. Paul as artistic director of Hamilton. He’s a third-generation letterpress printer and a printing historian who teaches typography at the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Through the U of M, he leads a three-week European tour that showcases the birth of printing and rare books in Spain, Germany and Italy. His work has been published and exhibited nationally, and he is a co-author of “Hamilton Wood Type: A History in Headlines.”
The museum, at 40,000 square feet, is no doubt one of the largest fully functional type workshops in the world. Not only do the thousands of visitors who come through every year get to see how wood type was made at the foundry, students, artists, typographers and designers visit to take workshops and actually put their hands on and use the collection to create works of art and scholarship in the pressroom at the museum. To be able to use the type and cuts and a press to make a print can broaden a design student’s understanding of typography and color and layout, and artists make work with wood type that would have surprised and delighted Ed Hamilton, the company’s founder.
Road trip, anyone?