You have to be a certain kind of nerd to be into typography, and especially the fine art of letterpress printing, a crafty, hand-set art all its own. But the results of that nerdy hard work take on a life all their own, giving off an aura thats at once both anachronistic and highly modern. In other words, people like Denver print master Rick Griffith of Matter Studio, and like-minded craftspeople across the nation, are a pretty cool and important group.
Its really a great idea whose time has come, Griffith says of his field, adding that the notion of the honor of the craft of designing can be traced back to the printer and the newspaperman and the poet: people who printed because they were literate.
Many of Griffiths cohorts will be in town this weekend for a series of typography-related events, beginning with tonights 7 p.m. DocNight screening of Typeface, a film about the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Wisconsin, at Starz FilmCenter on the Auraria campus. (Filmmaker Justine Nagan will appear in person, and admission is $12 to $15; call 303-595-3456.)
That same film will turn up again tomorrow from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Denver Art Museums monthly Untitled event, an evening of what Griffith calls typography tomfoolery on the theme of Typo. Foot-press printing demos with Griffith, a typography scavenger hunt and a Scrabble tournament are just a few of the related events included in the price of admission ($10 to $13, or two-for-one for students with valid ID; the DAM is at 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway). And a symposium titled About Face, also at the museum, on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m., gives typographers and other interested participants a chance to carry on the discussion in a more serious tone. (Admission is $10; reserve yours at www.blacktie-colorado.com, using the code aboutface.)
The fun wraps up on the second level of the Denver Pavilions, 500 16th Street, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, with the opening of Pressed!, a comprehensive exhibit of works by letterpress typographers from across the country and beyond that remains on view through July 4. A limited number of works will also be for sale at a neighboring pop-up market.