The Common Press Links Students to Printmaking History

Penn News
March 20th, 2017

Nestled in the basement of Morgan Hall at Penn’s School of Design is a letterpress printing studio that revitalizes a centuries old art form.

The Common Press at Penn was established on Jan. 17, 2006, to celebrate the 300th birthday of Benjamin Franklin. The letterpress printing studio is named after the 18th century English common press that Franklin used to print his numerous publications.

The Common Press is a collaboration of interests, including writing through Kelly Writers House (KWH), print culture via the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and visual arts and design at PennDesign. The facility provides a mixed media environment where students can move between digital and manual image-making while collaborating with writers, printmakers, and others in the book arts. The Common Press exists to assist in teaching design and facilitate collaborative projects across the University.

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