In essence, these monoprints are a result of the connection between creative energy and letterpress printing technique. The tools and materials – proof presses, wood and metal types, clichés, ink rollers, rags, inks and mineral spirit – are at service of the artistic expression…
I’m Claudio Rocha (b. 1957), graphic designer, type designer, teacher, typographer and publisher of Tupigrafia, a magazine dedicated to typography and calligraphy in Brazil. Also, I’m the art director of Tipoitalia magazine, published by Tipoteca Italiana.
Conducting a workshop at Tipoteca Italiana, 2016.
Together with Marcos Mello, I’m running a letterpress workshop, OTSP – Oficina Tipográfica São Paulo, since 2004.
Catherine Dixon describes OTSP: “Driven forward by a vision for a reconsideration of design practice for the future, OTSP is directed towards the pursuit of as yet unimaginable creative possibilities resulting from a reconnection of practice and production processes. The use of letterpress at the Oficina Tipográfica then is no nostalgia-fest. The old typographic composition systems and their visual languages are explored not simply for the purposes of the rehabilitation of these valuable resources. Rather past practice is relived as a way of reinvigorating current ideas and advancing conceptual skills.
OTSP operates as both a digital and an analogue (letterpress) design space, in which the worlds of contemporary graphics and print are connected – not least through the location of OTSP within the Escola SENAI Theobaldo De Nigris, a leading graphic arts school in Latin America specialising in printing technology. Letterpress at SENAI (National Service of Industrial Learning) had increasingly become irrelevant within teaching programmes aimed at delivering future industrial print workers. The arrival of OTSP brought with it not only new equipment but new meaning to the redundant machinery still at SENAI when the typographic collections of the two organisations were merged. OTSP remains however an independent agency, free of the politics driving the industry-led SENAI.
The Oficina Tipográfica motivation is then self-determined and simple, dedicated to the activities of teaching and design experimentation. Such an emphasis is unsurprising given the interests of the OTSP directors.”