We are currently in the process of composing and printing a one of a kind edition of „The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, using our historic presses and traditional techniques. The project is being crowdfunded on Indiegogo. This section on our web page will give you a little bit of background about the project, on our motivation for book printing and also feature updates on our progress. We welcome questions about the project and dialogue about the role of traditional crafts in the age of automation.
„The Little Prince” specifically is a big project that has taken us on a bumpy ride across the printing galaxy. The desire to create unique collectors editions with our historic presses is on the one hand an aesthetic goal. Possessing the required skills and being recognized as specialists in the field is understandably important to us. On the other hand, actively practicing traditional working methods and processes is something that we should be doing as an organizations also because of our stated goals to collect, preserve and care for heritage.
TYPA was founded as a museum and in addition to the material aspect – machinery, tools of the trade, documents — there is the other side, referred to as intangible heritage. This encompasses the skills, traditions, habits and values connected to a certain era, technology or profession. Methods for preservation of intangible heritage are always up for debate, as in some way, they are dependent on events in the larger society and not even possible to re-create in full authenticity. It is our carefully deliberated decision that for our organization the best course of action is to operate our equipment for their original intended purpose, to keep alive certain aspects of the related intangible heritage in the process and to accept the resulting wear and tear on the equipment as outweighed by the benefits offered by this approach.
Based on these considerations, we specifically chose „The Little Prince” as our first major project for several reasons. One of the initial considerations was literally the size — historic machinery has its limitations and something in a small format and having less than 100 pages is a reasonable investment in time and effort. The story in the book is of course something to relate to. Working with heritage is swimming against the tide and heart is the only guidance. Lastly, we were not oblivious to the popularity of the book, which allows us to get a wider audience and leverage the story of the Little Prince to tell our story – of TYPA the studio, the heritage and the pursuit of printing history. Thank you for being a part of this!