Letterpressmonster.com is the brand new website from designer and printer Ian Gabb. The Royal College of Art’s letterpress technician, Gabb, displays his own work through the site as well as showcasing a personal collection made up of record covers, matchbox labels, postcards and posters.
Gabb acquired the nickname The Letterpress Monster twelve years ago in his work as a technician, a moniker coined by his students. The site itself was created by Julia, a London-based studio that is made up of such students formerly taught by Gabb; Valerio Di Lucente, Erwan Lhuissier and Hugo Timm.
Amongst the printed images that Gabb has acquired over the past few years there are approximately 200 LP sleeves from the 50s and 60s. Beyond this there are also at least 700 scans of different 1960s matchbox labels originating from East Germany and Czechoslovakia. Both sets of archives display kitsch at its very best.
As quoted by Creative Review, The Letterpress Monster describes his site as “Both sublime and ridiculous, and sometimes both at the same time, these items appear only as a guide to the inner workings of [my] mind. I’m adding to the collection all the time – it’s a never-ending work in progress.”
Gabb’s own portfolio is as impressive as the collection that he has acquired. When detailing his work the printer explains to It’s Nice That “I am not a big fan of heavily impressed letterpress printing – to me this is an affectation. The craft of letterpress printing is about getting the optimum amount of ink and balancing it with the right amount of pressure.”
The Twitter reception has been rapturous with tweets such as that of @shutupcrow detailing The Letterpress Monster as ‘the print shop inspiration of the day’. Multiple others like @purplesime simply use social media as a way to spread the word of ‘Typography and design from Ian Gabb, aka Letterpress Monster’. Reflecting Gabb’s own admission of his work perhaps bordering on the ridiculous @CrankyPressman tweeted to ‘forget the damn warewolves, London has a Letterpress Monster!’
Letterpressmonster.com is a fantastic showcase of a talented designer, his work, and the art collection that has inspired his musings.