Play Meets Ink in Roy Scholten’s Ongoing LEGO Letterpress Bird Series — Colossal


#Roy Scholten

November 3, 2023

Grace Ebert

Common linnet. All images © Roy Scholten, shared with permission

Roy Scholten is wrapping up a years-long printing project with dozens of playfully rendered fowl. 50 Birds is an ongoing series that uses LEGO in place of lead type to create curved beaks, long tails, and rounded bellies. With only three species—hawfinch, reed bunting, and kingfisher—remaining, The Netherlands-based artist and designer has nearly a full flock of the letterpress creatures, all nested inside 6 x 6-inch paper.

“It’s been interesting to see how the experience from earlier prints feeds back into the following ones,” he tells Colossal. “In a way, because I got better at it, the more difficult it has become. More subtle color schemes and patterns resulted in a more painterly approach to printing.”

Scholten began working with the unconventional material about a decade ago in collaboration with artist Martijn van der Blom, and the pair recently released a bi-lingual book, Print & Play, the Art of LEGO Letterpress, documenting their process and projects during the last ten years. Their practice of inking and printing with the plastic blocks is known in printmaking circles as the “Hilversum method,” named for their studios’ location in the city of Hilversum.  Included in the book’s pages are some early works from the 50 Birds collection, along with van der Blom’s architectural typography, stylized dinosaurs, landscapes, and more.

Keep an eye on Scholten’s Instagram for the final avian pieces, along with larger species like owls, falcons, and hawks, which are next on his docket. You can also purchase prints on his site.


a block printed bird with a pink belly

Crested tit

a block printed bird with brown and black feathers

Pied flycatcher

a gray and white bird in blue


a flying yellow and gray bird


a brown and white bird climbing a brown block like a tree


an open book with four images of LEGO dinosaur prints

A spread from ‘Print & Play, the Art of LEGO Letterpress’

#Roy Scholten


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