Old + New = innovation

A23D: A 3D-Printed Letterpress Font from Adrian Harrison on Vimeo.

The above video demonstrates the first 3D printed letterpress typeface. This is a brilliant example of how traditional practices can be adapted using new technologies. This video also contains an overview of letterpress printing which may be useful for those who have not encountered it before.

Some of the most significant innovations in any field occur as a result of combining two things that have not previously been associated with one another. Combining old and new technologies into a new hybrid form creates opportunities to reconsider the value of something that otherwise seems mundane or outdated. It is a way of preserving and improving the past, while also demonstrating the applicability of new technologies. Hybrids can also occur by combining methods from different disciplines. For example, employing techniques from one discipline to solve problems set in your own field – architectural structures in fashion; computers used for art (we take this for granted now, but the idea was grondbreaking in the 1980s); molecular gastronomy; etc.

Practitioners are able to innovate by taking any existing technique, technology or method and applying it in a new context. The technique/technology does not have to be new itself – it just has to be new to a particular context.



One thought on “Old + New = innovation

  1. I have always been fascinated and inspired by the work of Denise Y. Ichiyama and his use of Wood Type. He creates abstract work of art by overprinting letter forms. His use of color is captivating.


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