Learning from Letraset with Dan Rhatigan

Rub-down type transfer, such as Letraset, literally put typography in the hands of the people. It was made possible for students, professionals, and everyone else to design with proper typefaces, without needing professional typesetting services. People started to, and could easily, experiment with typography as well as other graphic elements (clipart). Letraset put a lot of care into making type easy to use well, but it also resulted in a lot of ways to use type badly, but this led to interesting results. For any budding graphic designer, with some care and attention, it was a great way to develop an eye for typography all before the new-age of desktop publishing.

letraset.jpg.5e3545c17045da4faf3132c92334f9db
Dan Rhatigan, New York. February, 2016.

This talk was a look at Letraset’s type and other graphic supplies, showing how they put the tools of professional design into everyday hands. It also looked at how people had to improvise with Letraset, and made the most of the materials at hand.

Dan Rhatigan worked as a designer and typographer for 15 years in Boston and New York before moving to England in 2006 for graduate school at the University of Reading. After receiving his MA in Typeface Design, he spent 7 seven years working with Monotype as researcher, type designer, and eventually ‘Type Director’. He now lives in New York City again, where he works as an independent type designer and consultant.

Have your say