At the end of September 2013 The Occasional Print Club held their 7th meeting deep down in the basement of Kulturwerk des BBK in Kreuzberg, Berlin, a grand building in Mariannenplatz that was formerly a Prussian hospital. In attendance this time were myself, Thomas Mayo, Patrick Randle and Ross Shaw.
The Print Studio at KBBK contains an impressive collection of continental letterpress type, some woodletter, an iron handpress and two large-format relief proofing presses – a gargantuan Korrex press manufactured by Max Simmel in Hamburg and a smaller FAG Control proof press.
After acquainting ourselves with the studio and the unfamiliar German typecase-layout, we set to work designing and typesetting, aware that we had less than 48 hours in which to create our next project. We were spoilt for choice with the array of metal types available and, after a fairly brief discussion of ideas, we decided to use as many of the typefaces available in our design, typeset to form the shape of a lowercase blackletter ‘b’ – ‘b’ for Berlin.
After one and half days of intensive typesetting briefly interrupted by a visit to the studio of master papermaker Gangolf Ulbricht, along the corridor, we had transferred all of the type from settings sticks & galleys to the bed of the FAG proofing press. After locking the forme up, we took a first pull of the poster and after correcting a handful of typo’s, wrong-founts and spelling errors we turned our attention to choosing a colour scheme for the posters. We chose to print half of the edition in black and green with the remainder printed in red and green.
After printing late into the evening, we sought sanctuary in a nearby bar with hearty German fare and some celebratory Maßkrug’s of local beer.
Limited to 50 copies and printed onto 100gsm Zerkall paper in two colours, copies this poster can be purchased here.