Stanza 153 Press was founded in Spring 2016 by SF State instructor Pino Trogu and the students of DAI 226 Modern Letterpress Printing. Starting in Spring 2019, the class, now renamed DES 226, has been taught by Prof. Monique Comacchio. The class brings the students into the humanistic tradition of the typographer, printer, and publisher as it developed during the Renaissance in Europe, and teaches “composition”, or the basic skill of setting metal type by hand, letter by letter, into the composing stick, onto the galleys, and on to printing the text on a hand-operated proofing press.
After a gap of more than fifteen years, during which letterpress had not been formally taught in the Department of Design and Industry, DAI 226 and Stanza 153 Press represent a renewal of that humanistic tradition, embodied by the enthusiasm and dedication of the first fifteen students who enrolled in the class — from freshmen to graduate students — who printed and published their first book: A Specimen Book of Type Faces from Stanza 153 Press.
The first students in DAI 226 Modern Letterpress Printing, SFSU, Spring 2016, are: