OTSP was established in 2004 and operates as both a digital and an analogue (letterpress) design space. It allows the worlds of contemporary graphic design and printmaking to become connected – amongst other things – through its location within the Escola SENAI Theobaldo De Nigris, a leading graphic arts school in Latin America specialising in printing technology. Letterpress at National Service of Industrial Learning (SENAI) has increasingly become irrelevant within teaching programmes aimed at delivering future industrial print workers.
When the typographic collections of the two organisations were merged OTSP not only brought in new equipment but also new ways to use the machinery at SENAI. Oficina Tipográfica São Paulo remains an independent agency, as a non-governmental organization, supported by a tireless team of volunteers. (about us..!)
As letterpress printers, we believe in keeping the memory alive, but as graphic artists, we believe also in reinventing the letterpress practice. By following this path, we aim to give a new expression to these traditional practices. In reviving the fundamental principles of the classical letterpress process, we amplify it, within the context of contemporary visual communication. Furthermore, mixing computer graphics with letterpress represents a new creative perspective which broadens the language investigation.
“The use of letterpress at the Oficina Tipográfica then is no nostalgia-fest. The old typographic composition systems and their visual languages are explored not simply for the purposes of the rehabilitation of these valuable resources. Rather past practice is relived as a way of reinvigorating current ideas and advancing conceptual skills. The Oficina Tipográfica agenda is then self-determined, dedicated to the activities of teaching and design experimentation.”
Catherine Dixon, in Matrix magazine 28, 2009.