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Double Dagger

Double Dagger Issue 3

This isn't so much a magazine and is more a celebration of how to make wonderful letterpress prints. Made by Pat who also makes our Manifesto print, each copy is a thing of beauty. Made in broadsheet format and supplied in its own letter-pressed envelope you could frame and hang any of its pages on your wall. In fact you probably will...

” . . . will there always be a space, a level of demand, no matter how small, for the typographic subtleties that only the hand compositor can contribute. For whatever reason, not to believe in the composing stick is not to believe that some men [sic], somewhere, somehow, always will yearn for the inexplicable, mysterious, wonderfully-satisfying gratification of beauty attained through personal effort without the invasion of the automatic machine. Not to believe this is to project a world where computers paint pictures and gardens grow plastic flowers.’’

Martin K Speckter, Disquisition on the Composing Stick (1971).

Issue three of Double Dagger continues to bash away at that same drum, extolling the virtues of reproducing the printed word by the medium of letterpress. And by letterpress we don’t mean the unfortunate post-apocalyptic-digital-rebrand of the word which reverts to plastic printing from plastic plates. We mean printing from movable objects; mostly lead type (the process invented by Gutenberg in the 15th century) supplemented by a smattering of wood, lino and rubber litho blanket.

The typographic glue that binds issue three together is Monotype Poliphilus (series 374) and Monotype Blado (series 375), cut by the Monotype Corperation in 1923 though never in a size larger than 24-point, with some on-loan sans serifs for the larger headings and our page two editorial. We always wonder what will drop through the mailbox in the way of artwork and have been blown away this issue with the variety of content; illustrations that stem from the worlds of calligraphy, stone cutting, sculpture, gig posters and even printing from ball-bearings all had us smiling until Pat managed to print Nick’s eye-mangling front page design the wrong way around. Enjoy…


Ellen Bills
The Letterpress Collective
Vincent De Boer
Beth Forrester
Artist & Tarot Reader 
Hannes Hirche & Falk Schwalbe
Rory Menage
Nick Loaring
The Print Project
Pat Randle
Nomad Letterpress
Dimitri Runkkari
Co-founder of Vlek
Jo Sweeting
Sculptor & Lettercarver

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