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Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s famous story The Princess and the Pea, The Press and the P is a brief graphic story that reflects the characteristics of traditional letterpress printing and the various relationships we can make between it and the language – in this case, English Express.
Between the visual poem and the fairy tale, we are challenged by word games throughout the reading and stimulated with tactile and visual cues. At the same time, we wonder about the invisibility of what can be felt and try to understand what the peas contain to end up doing it. As you progress through the pages, you’ll find variable textures, blind impressions, hidden prophecies, and fold-out pages, including surprises that invite us to travel through the many Ps of typographic vocabulary – and a couple of mattresses! … The Press and the P is so, an artist book dedicated to all the dreamy print freaks out there.
Who are the authors?
The press and the P were written, composed and printed by Leonor Carpinteiro.
What do you want to talk about?
The basic idea for this project was the similarity I found between the story told in A Princesa ea Ervilha and the printing press. Just like the princess who can feel a pea under 20 mattresses, a well-coordinated printing press always prints the texture of whatever we put behind the paper to be printed – the slightest difference in pressure always leads to a difference in printing. This observation led me to conclude that a press can have the sensitivity of a princess. Based on this assumption, and after some study of the original fairy tale and its various literary and cinematic adaptations, other relationships became clear: the words “P” (letter P, in English “pea”) and “pea” (in English “pea”), the relationship of the English expression “Take care of your Ps and Qs” to the universe of printing, the number of words in the typographic vocabulary that start with the letter “P” (print, dot, plate), press, print, print …) .
This book is related to the conclusion of an eight month season in Estonia of work on an incredible website called TYPA. There I learned to compose with moving characters, to see the spaces between words and to distinguish a “p” from a “q”. The press and the P are thus an opportunity to share my fascination for this field, both for those who like to get their hands dirty with paint, as well as for those who just want to know something about fairy tales.
Technical questions: Which materials are used, how many pages are there, how big is the edition and which colors are used?
The press and the P were written, composed and printed by me and bound with the help of Agnieszka Kunz, Jelisaveta Dzigurski and Kristiin Hanimägi at the TYPA (Museum / Studio for Paper and Printing) in Estonia (Tartu) in 2020 It is in English written, has a format of 115 mm x 140 mm, 26 pages and was printed in two colors (pink and green) under different types of paper and thin cards. Book printed in typography with manual composition, with mobile characters in lead and wood and other historical typographic devices. Limited edition of only 42 copies!
Where is it for sale and what is the price?
It’s for sale by email or private message and costs 15 euros.
Why create and launch editions today?
Well because it’s amazing! It’s an indescribable feeling that we have the opportunity to share our little universe or our very peculiar view of a certain topic with someone. Often someone we don’t even know and whose work resonates in ways we can’t even imagine. The promotion and evaluation of the production of publications in a non-industrial context that share an author’s vision and address topics that rarely find a stage in the publishing market seems to me to be more than essential.
An author’s edition recently published in Portugal recommends us.
I can definitely recommend the Practical Handbook of the Typographer by Joana Monteiro (Clube dos Tipo) and Rúben Dias (Tipografia Dias), which was written and printed in the Tipografia Damasceno in Coimbra. Although it is not a current edition, copies are still available for sale and an exchange program has been launched that will allow you to take this guide home with you without having to resort to cash. This publication was created for use in traditional typography workshops and consists of a glossary of essential terms that help reduce the distance between new practitioners, technicians and designers.