Accessing Common Press

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Accessing Common Press

Common Press exists to support teaching and learning across the University of Pennsylvania, and to facilitate collaboration across the university and beyond. Common Press is available to members of the University of Pennsylvania community (students, faculty, and staff), and occasionally the wider community, in several ways.


Common Press provides curricular support by hosting remote tours, demonstrations, and workshops for Penn courses. If you are leading a class and are interested in utilizing Common Press, please submit a Class Visit Form to begin a discussion about how we might support your course. We offer in-person and virtual tours of the letterpress studio, demonstrations of typesetting and printing, and hands-on bookbinding workshops. 


We're pleased to offer two portable presses that are available for student borrowing for those who have some familiarity with printmaking. We also have toolkits for Linoleum Block Carving and for Bookbinding. Learn more about our offerings or request a kit.


The Common Press studio is available to Penn students, as well as faculty and staff, once they have complete an Intro to Letterpress / Press Training Workshop. Please check our schedule to sign up for a training. Once training is complete, you can make an appointment to work at the Press during set Open Studio times. For a tour, press training for a small group, or studio access, please complete our Request Form

For other project requests, for work incorporating print and book media, for both the Penn community and visiting artists and scholars, we invite your project proposals via the Project Inquiry Form. Please note that our capacity to take on non-student and non-course-related projects is limited.

View our schedule of upcoming events. 

How can I use Common Press? First you must register for and complete an Introduction to Letterpress. This 3-hour workshop walks you through the basics of setting type, setting up the press, printing, and cleaning the press. After completing this workshop, you are eligible to drop in during designated Open Studio Hours to set type, or to sign up for printing time through a dedicated press sign-up link. Common Press provides ink and cleanup supplies. Some paper is available for student use.


Occasionally, special workshops, open houses, and residency opportunities are open to the broader community. Sign up for our mailing list to receive notification of these opportunities.

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