blog

Feature Menu

What I'm lusting: the LetterMPress iPad app

If you caught my recent post on letterpress wiz Alan Kitching or the bit on my personal blog about how letterpress, specifically the tactile qualities of rolling bright, glossy ink over weathered, wood type is like porn for me, then you know why the iPad app LetterMPress is nothing less than titillating. Sadly, I don’t own an iPad (donations welcome) and it’s not available on the iPhone (too small), but I can still salivate over the app’s release trailer (above), which includes shot after drool-worthy shot of the aforementioned shiny ink and old type.

The app itself is beautifully designed by John Bonadies, who funded his project through Kickstarter (and speaking of, check out my Kickstarter picks for this week). Almost every interface of the app is photorealistically represented, “from the scratched and worn metal plates on the press itself to the wood grain on the blocks of movable type,” which users can actually pull out of an old typesetter’s wooden drawer, though unlike the real thing the drawers in the app don’t stick like hell and require whole minutes of frustrating side-to-side wriggling to pry them loose.

The app works like this: once you arrange your type and choose your ink you crank the lock into place and make your print by swiping your finger across the bed of the press. One user found the app so lifelike, it was “as frustrating and weirdly intimidating as being plopped alone into a real letterpress studio…After clumsily stacking the letters CAD on the press bed, I rolled the digital ink roller over it only to discover that (duh) everything came out reversed. Then I gave up and played Angry Birds.”

Have you tried the app? Let me know if you if you love it or hate it enough to give up using your iPad forever and send it to me so I can play. Mom said to share, right?