OTSP was set up in 2004 and operates as both a digital and an analogue (letterpress) design space, in which the worlds of contemporary graphics and print are connected – not least through its location within the Escola SENAI Theobaldo De Nigris, a leading graphic arts school in Latin America specialising in printing technology. Letterpress at SENAI (National Service of Industrial Learning) had increasingly become irrelevant within teaching programmes aimed at delivering future industrial print workers. The arrival of OTSP brought with it not only new equipment but new meaning to the redundant machinery still at SENAI when the typographic collections of the two organisations were merged. OTSP remains however an independent agency, as a non-governmental organization, supported by a tireless team of volunteers.
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 want to give a new expression to these traditional practices. In reviving the fundamental principles of the classical letterpress process, we amplify it, whitin the context of contemporary visual communication. Furthermore, mixing computer graphics with letterpress represents a new creative perspective and broaden 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.