Website —

The End Grain

( A )

The End Grain is a Wood Type and Letterpress blog and aggregator created in wordpress that houses images, writings and discussion about letterpress printing and wood type. I began collecting wood type in my sophomore year at Auburn, and have steadily added to the collection ever since. Each day I would upload a new piece of type and detail its characteristics and the history of the typeface, as well as chronicling anything particularly unique about the block itself.

( B )

For years my hands were constantly filthy from handling wood type. I don’t have easy access to a press now, but the type collection has made 6 moves with me in the past 3 years: From Auburn to Baltimore, for Baltimore to Boston, from Boston to Columbia, from Columbia to Austin, from Austin to Seattle, and from Seattle to San Francisco. They are well traveled.

( C )

[fig 18]
Process shot from printing my contribution to the Vista Sans Wood Type Project, 2011.

The End Grain website was pretty fly for its time—it used sifr (which rendered typefaces that didn’t have webfonts in Flash(?!)), making it one of the few letterpress sites that was pulling in custom webfonts. It emerged just as the letterpress revival was happening in the early 2010’s. Building the site was how I taught myself WordPress and tickled the mad scientist bone inside of me.

It was also the first time I forced myself to editorialize my feelings about design objects. I find the Notable glyphs section of the Font Review Journal to be the most difficult section to write, perhaps because it reminds me of running End Grain. I’m rather embarrassed by the writing on the site these days, but perhaps I’m only ashamed because I can see some of myself even in writing from a decade ago.

  • People always used ask me how I got the images of the type to come out so clear and distortion-free, and the answer was: I laid them on a scanner.
  • I am fairly certain I spent more time stripping and formatting the RSS feeds which populated the two sidebar modules for flickr and Etsy than I did building any other part of the site.