BlockFace - A Stamp Kit to Explore Typography & More
BlockFace is an easy-to-use modular typography printing kit designed by graphic artist Will Mower. Combine the stamps to construct letterforms, design typographic posters and cards, and explore the joys of printmaking.
We spend a lot of time working on screens nowadays, but the precise nature of the tool often takes away the human aspect of the making process that is so enjoyable. With BlockFace you can explore symbols, pattern-making and typography in a tactile, and more engaging way.
In September 2023, we successfully concluded a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the BlockFace Kit with over 1,065 backers and more than €75,000 in funding.
Say something with BlockFace by using the included TypeBook to construct six typeface styles or combine them yourself into your own unique designs!
All shapes are created on a 10mm grid, so that you can combine them however you like. This also makes it easy to measure out your needed space and draw guides if necessary.
Of course you can also ignore the grid entirely and freehand your designs!
BlockFace is an open-source project, meaning you can freely download the files and guides and create your own kit as long as you have access to a 3D printer and/or laser-cutting machine. The project is protected under a NonCommercial Creative Commons licence, which means you can reproduce the set for personal or educational purposes but not with the intention of selling the set yourself. You can learn more and download the files at openpressproject.com/blockface.
‘BlockFace gets me out of the digital domain where I mostly work. It's great for ideation - it's fun, tactile and, importantly, analogue. The limited number of pieces really stretches my thinking and gets those creative juices flowing. Highly recommended.’
‘BlockFace is a really accessible craft kit for kids of all ages and abilities - it’s easy and fun to use. It’s also a great way to get them interested in typography and print’
'The set allows you to print on a much larger scale than is usually possible with stamps, and the potential for creative experimentation was far greater than the simplicity of the set initially suggests. I was amazed by the variety of approaches and prints that were possible.’
Dominik Schmitz, Will Mower, and Martin Schneider (from left to right)
Will is an artist, designer, and printmaker. He became interested in modular systems and printmaking in 2013 during a period of creative block. Influenced by an interest in play, he began designing toolkits that could free up his approach to making. As his work has developed, he has continued to explore ways in which systems can be used to remove barriers to the creative process.
He is interested in typography, architecture, and signage and uses these as a reference point to explore how ideas can be presented through a graphic language. He creates prints, objects, and books and enjoys running workshops to share his design approach with others.
The first BlockFace type kit (originally named Alpha-Set) was released in 2018 and contained 16 laser-cut rubber stamps with wooden grips and a set of instructions for creating a single typeface. The set was then developed through workshops, and an updated version that offered more flexibility and a wider set of typeface options was released in 2021.
OPEN PRESS PROJECT
Will's BlockFace kit is being produced by us: Martin Schneider and Dominik Schmitz, two designers from Cologne, Germany.
Just like Will, we are printmaking enthusiasts who are dedicated to making these brilliant techniques more accessible. That's why we wanted to help Will to make his fabulous stamp kit more widely available. Since 2020, we have been manufacturing small 3D printed printing presses and have shipped more than 5000 of them to all corners of the world. We know how to mass-produce 3D printed parts, assemble them into products and ship them reliably.
Check out the Open Press Project on Instagram!
We had already heard of the wonderful stamp kit when we met Will at Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair in London in 2022. At the time, he was looking into manufacturing his product on a larger scale and we jumped at the chance to partner up and collaborate!