Melbourne Museum of Printing
Graphic Students' Workshop
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Graphic Students Workshop

Graphic Students' Workshop



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The Graphic Students' Workshop is a part day event for students of subjects like graphics, DTP, media studies, in fact any students for whom typography is important.

The workshop, running for five hours, allows students to see the main printing processes (letterpress and lithography) with emphasis on the traditional methods and design factors.

Students at levels ranging from year 9 to senior university design courses have benefitted from this eye-opening experience. At year 11 and 12 level, the workshop partly fills the need, expressed in the curriculum in most States, for historical context for typography.

This workshop explores the traditional rules of text assembly including type sizes, leading, kerning and justifying and then shows linkages from those traditions into today's software. One aim is to help visualise what the software is doing. With metal types, it is all so visible.

When an individual holds a book or paper printed before the advent of computers, it is inspiring to visualise just what was involved in putting those letters, columns and pages together, letter-by-letter. The workshop shows the participant how metal type is set by hand and by machine; how spacing is controlled, both within the line and between lines; how type is arranged within the sheet area; and the four elements of printing (type/plate, ink, paper/position and pressure).

There is some hands-on opportunity, involving written instructions, page make-up and leading, and hand-printing a copy of a souvenir page containing the names of those attending.

Each attendee may take away a "line of type" with their name (as printed in the souvenir page) capable of being used as a stamp.

If time permits, there is some discussion on proof-reading and correct punctuation, especially the use of the apostrophe, quotation marks and the dash. Is that the same as the hyphen?


The workshop normally starts at 1000 and concludes at 1500 with a break for lunch (cafes nearby or byo). The workshop is offered on Wednesdays but other days are possible including weekends.

The price basis has changed as from 1 March 2011, to provide a reduced fee for classes less than 20. (Previously a flat fee for up to 20). The maximum fee is increased (first rise since 2003).

The fee is $535 for a class of 20 students and up to two teachers. Twenty students is the limit for satisfactory participation.

The minimum fee is $485 for one to ten students, with $5 for each additional student.

Call or email our Course Coordinator


A hot-metal "slug" with your name. It is used first to include your name in the souvenir poster. Then it is cleaned and trimmed for you to take away. If you intend to use it as a "stamp", we recommend that you put some tape around the slug to avoid repeatedly touching the metal. Printing type-metal contains lead, tin and antimony.

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