Begun as a semester-long project for an advanced letterpress printing course, this small children’s book is my attempt to combine story with snippets of childhood memories of Halloween. The process involved countless hours studying old photographs, drawing, sketching, and writing. In order to print the pages, the drawings had to be made into plates. This process involves several parts, scratching the images into a red film, and then developing the scratched images onto a polymer plate. Lastly, with letterpress printing, each color involves a separate run on the press. The text of the book was hand-set with 8pt movable metal type. With this particular project, I opted for only two runs on the press.
Inspired by the simplicity and imagery of vintage illustrations, I chose to limit my color palette, dark brown and yellow. In addition, I chose to purposely offset the printing of the yellow over the line work as done with illustrations from older books.
To test out my skills on the press, I made a set of paper dolls depicting the scenes and girls of the story.
Three Little Girls at Halloween // by Ann Neslen
Letterpress printed at the Marriott Library (2013)
Drum Leaf binding using Arches Cover
Clam shell case, Limited Edition of 5