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The Art of Design #29: Wanna Be A Printhead? Then You Gotta Wear Your Printer’s Hat!

Long ago, printers couldn’t just grab a baseball cap with the company logo. They had to resort to what they had on hand. So those who worked in print shops, where the air was filled with an inky mist when the presses rolled, used what they had in abundance: paper!

The origin of the printer’s hat is cloaked in obscurity. It’s possible these paper creations served as disposable containers to transfer hand-mixed inks to the presses. In keeping with this theory, a printer must have played a practical joke on a colleague by flipping it over and plopping it onto his head. A hat is born – albeit a messy one.

1. Start with the largest 4 page newspaper sheet you can find. Fold it once along the center line.
2.With the crease at the top, fold the top left and right corners in until they meet at the center of the page. Crease the new folds.

3. Fold a single thickness of the open edge up about an inch and crease. Then fold the same flap again as far as it will go and crease again.
4. Flip the entire hat over so that the top points away from you.

5. Fold the outside left and right edges towards the center and overlap. The greater the overlap, the smaller the hat will be. They do not need to overlap if you need a larger hat size – but not overlapping will make construction a bit more difficult.
6. Now fold the lower corners up to the hat band and crease.

7. Fold the bottom piece up and over the band and crease. Then tuck the end into the band to form the brim of the hat.
8. Fold the triangular peak down to the bottom of the hat band and tuck the tip into the brim.

9. Pick up the hat. Open wide and flatten out the inner area to create a rectangular shape. As you do so you will see two triangular shapes form – not quite as large as in the drawing though. Fold them so that you can tuck their tips into the brim.
10. Crease the corners square on all four sides, flip the hat over and try it on for size:

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