Denim Matsuri

Kawaraban Print

The launch of the 2024 Denim Second Chapter Collection marks the beginning of a series of in-store events known as Denim Matsuri, aimed at sharing our passion with more customers. As part of this initiative, we have decided to publish a kawaraban‚ÄĒa traditional Japanese broadsheet.

Inspired by the letterpress printing used in our 45th-anniversary photo book 'Yonzyugo Aru,' this project is driven by a desire to blend historical techniques with contemporary artistry.

Our latest kawaraban employs a multicolor letterpress printing method using a German printing press, taking inspiration from Edo period woodblock printing. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Edo's woodblock printing flourished, paralleling the rise of letterpress printing with metal plates in the West. This project represents a crossover of Eastern and Western print cultures.

After an extensive search, we discovered a print studio in Osaka capable of producing letterpress prints in a slightly larger B4 size. Here, we were greeted by master craftsman Abe-san, who oversees a workshop where meticulously maintained, heavyweight printing presses still operate.

The process involves setting up letterpress plates for each color, carefully cleaning the rollers, and applying the ink. The Denim Matsuri logo is pressed in a distinctive indigo hue.

Due to paper's tendency to expand and contract with humidity, frequent checks for print quality, color consistency, and plate alignment are crucial. The deep indigo ink absorbed by the high-bulk paper is particularly striking.