In the year 2012 the Mecana Sans workshop of the EASDAlcoi began as a result of a research project of the teacher Xelo Garrigós and Jordi Sempere. It has grown to become a unique space within public higher education for its resources, equipment and materials. There is only one other similar workshop in the private design school BAU in Barcelona, but of these characteristics in a public center, there is none other than that of the EASDAlcoi.

More than 550 years ago, Gutenberg carried out one of the inventions that would change the course of history: the printing press and movable type that allowed more creative freedom. Now, the advance of offset technologies and especially digital printing has gained a lot of ground since movable type printing takes up a lot of space, it is slower because it is done manually and more expensive because it requires manual labor. Even so, Xelo Garrigós explains that there is a revival of this technique in the last ten years and this is reflected in collectives and initiatives such as Lola Oficio in Burjassot, Bunkertype in Barcelona or Familia Plómez in Madrid.

Students can use the workshop to familiarize themselves with boxes, dots, zigzags, as well as to make compositions, control the blanks and form a well-made branch for later printing. “It’s a great opportunity to get back to the physical medium in the midst of so much digitization. There is handmade action and full of random components such as pressure, the body of the paper or the particularities of the ink that make each result unique and more organic,” says Garrigós. She also points out the authenticity of the process that “has hardly changed in centuries”. The lead of the movable type has been replaced by wood and now recently by plastic and the ink “remains practically the same”.

The workshop has two Minerva typewriters that print in A5 and folio size, one manual and the other with a powered press (currently being reconditioned). There are also two manual A2 and A3 proofsetters, as well as various chivalets containing the numerous movable types and parts. It is open mainly for students of the graphic arts family but also for anyone esle who is interested. You can come on Wednesdays from 4 to 8 pm and explore this world of possibilities “as long as there is a commitment to continuity and willingness to help maintain the workshop,” explains Xelo Garrigós.

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