The Printmaking Department at Maine College of Art acquired a number of incomplete drawers of woodblock type in 2014 and wanted to increase the number of completed sets for student use. As a half-semester long assignment in the design class, Type Studies, I participated in a collaboration to take the available letters and complete the sets. Divided into four groups (one for each incomplete set), my group focused on the largest typeface which we came to call “Plywood Bold.” Each group worked together to first print the available letters, scan the prints, use Adobe Illustrator to correct any anomalies, and design the remaining letters using the language of the existing set. We finished the letters from these files using a CNC programable router to cut the new woodblock type out of plywood, which gave us the idea to name the four sets, Plywood Bold, Plywood Regular, Plywood Condensed, and Plywood Serif.
I was involved with each step of creating Plywood Bold. While students were on spring break, Taylor McElhinny, Steve Bowden (a classes instructor), and I worked on creating the actual woodblock type by making the type-high (0.91 inches) boards out of plywood, programming the CNC machine, and cutting them. This process took the majority of the remaining semester to complete.