Printer at National Print Museum

Preserving print's a pressing issue

08 March 2019
3 min read

Intent on preserving print’s traditional craft and heritage, the National Print Museum is passing its unique skills onto just the right type of people.

One of the Creative Ireland Programme’s National Creativity Fund initiatives, the innovative Making Our Impression project aims to preserve print veterans’ knowledge and skills, gifting them to like-minded future generations.

Nestled in Beggars Bush, Dublin, the National Print Museum is a trove of historic letterpress printing machinery, not to mention a remarkable reminder of human ingenuity. Founded in 1996 by members of the Irish printing industry, the museum is the only one of its kind in the country and it’s a hands-on, working one at that. The founding panel of retired printers and compositors continue to play an integral role in preserving the collection and craft, and just one way they’re actively doing that is through the insightful Making Our Impression project.

A skills transfer programme, Making Our Impression will foster a vital sharing of traditional skills from one generation to another. The soon-to-be chosen programme participants will come from print/design backgrounds and will benefit from training in the museum’s wonderfully juggernaut-like machinery, will have ongoing involvement in the museum’s public programming and will play a crucial role in keeping the craft alive.

The newly-equipped generation will in turn pass these skills on to the widest audience possible through a bespoke education programme that will afford every person in Ireland the opportunity to realise their creative potential through print. A beautiful way to connect people through craft, this education element is key to the museum with its Education Department essential in preserving, protecting and increasing awareness of its fascinating collection.

Perhaps in an age where the world can be explored at the touch of a button, an appreciation for the skill sets, design innovations, not to mention the invested time and patience that paved the way before us, are feeling more important than ever.

In this leafy Dublin corner, you might say that preserving print is a pressing issue.

Read more about the 30 National Creativity Fund initiatives here and the Making Our Impression initiative here.