From Futura to the Future

23 September 2020

Carl Middleton

Letterpress Workers travel to Leipzig (Germany)

Discovering international typography – an exhibition and letterpress workshop.

Letterpress Workers - Leipzig

The global impact of Covid-19 has resulted in a massive reduction of international travel. A valuable change in terms of reductions in carbon emissions and pollutants but negative in relation to the cultural enrichment that travel affords.

One annual journey which for some has become a formal pilgrimage is from their homes to the international capital of Letterpress, Milan (Italy) – for the Letterpress Workers Summit (LPW). Sadly 2020 saw the yearly LPW summit interrupted for the first time since its establishment in 2012. An event which for most punctuated the year with a highlight, a time to physically meet with distant friends, catch up, print and continue the dialogue and celebrate! Without LPW 2020, for many June 2020 was a very sad month.

Yet, now with June now well and truly behind us and the impact of Covid-19 evolving country to country new reasons to celebrate are approaching. Borders are opening once again and opportunities to physically meet are in the process of developing. At the end of September 2020, the Museum of the Printing Arts Leipzig (Germany) will open its doors and host a different LPW event. A new celebration of print and all things letterpress!

The exhibition showcases selected works by international typographers, graphic designers, calligraphers and lithographers who use typography as a means of communication, design and art. Following the tradition of typo/graphic expression established by the Bauhaus. Set with a backdrop of the museum’s historic collection of printing machinery, type and ephemera.

Letterpress Workers - Leipzig

The exhibition draws from the LPW archive to showcase eight years of LPW production. Posters set and printed during the yearly artist residency will be on display for the first time outside of Italy – a celebration of letterpress print but also of the collaboration, debate and a continuing cultural dialogue about the human condition. An overview of the eight years of intensive typo/graphic collaboration presented in the Museum of Printing Art.

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Work on display includes letterpress responses to the yearly themes of:

• 2012: What if we were living without electricity? • 2013: Market • 2014: Borders

• 2015: Dance • 2016: Fear • 2017: Resist • 2018: True / False • 2019: Identity

and is documented beautifully within the exhibition catalogue.

Letterpress Workers - Leipzig

Alongside the exhibition there will be ‘live’ letterpress printing workshops taking place. Attendees will generate work in response to the 2020 theme of ‘keep moving’ – (In German: Bewegung bleiben). Mirroring how printing takes place annually in Milan. The public will be invited in to witness letterpress ‘up close’ (as close as social distancing allows), but also to speak with the printers and gain an insight to why they have adopted letterpress printing as a form of communication and creative expression in today’s digitally dominated age.

We hope as many people as possible have the opportunity to attend and that letterpress once again unites our fraternity. For those who are unable to attend our thoughts and best wishes are with you. We look forward to the next opportunity where we can join hands and celebrate together, with positivity, generosity, freedom and openness.

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From Futura to Future: 30th September to 4th October

The exhibition is open to the public from 4th October to 15th November

Private view: 1st October, from 5pm

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For further information about the exhibition, workshops or opening times and safe access to the museum visit:

or email: Clara Marie Thoene

Stiftung Werkstattmuseum, für Druckkunst Leipzig, Nonnenstraße 38, 04229 Leipzig

Telephone: 03 41 / 2 31 62-15

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Lastly there must be thanks to all of the staff of the museum and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to support the exhibition including:

• Luise Bartels • Marc Berger • John Christopher • Stephane De Schrevel

• Annegret Frauenlob • Armina Ghazaryan • Mr & Mrs Hosoyama

• Julienne Jattiot • Anne Marie Koper • Claudio Madella • Aurelia Markwalder

• David Maurissen • Rozemarijn Oudejans • Mr & Mrs Passerini

• Sander Pinkse  • Thomas Siemon • Luise Valentiner-Moulin

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Photography: © Museum für Druckkunst Leipzig 2020