The letterpress revival hit the U.S. full-force, and we’re proud to share in the fruits. This 15th century printing technique gets an update from bold new designs, splashes of color in oh-so current palettes, and the knowledgeable care of a whole new generation of typesetters.
There’s a lot to love about letterpress. The way the ink sinks into the paper, leaving a crisp, tangible edge. The beauty of the press itself. Its enduring grace and efficiency in an age of high-speed technology. But most of all, we love the people who love letterpress.
You can find them at Bespoke.
Friends Anna Branning and Mara Murphy run Dutch Door Press, (http://dutchdoorpress.blogspot.com) the San Francisco company behind the “Birds and Blooms” of the United States card collection that adorned our shop wall. The print series inspired a book of the same name, to be released this spring.
Speaking of maps, do you know Tahoe’s own Quail Lane Press? Michelle Murdock makes the impressive letterpress maps and typographic artwork available at Riverside Studios. Murdock receives such a high demand for her custom-made maps, she now devotes herself to the work full time. She uses a Vandercook Universal and a small rotary press.
Just over the California border, two Portland-based presses have captured our hearts. There’s the beautiful oblong calendar by Lark Press, who also make custom baby announcements and wedding packages.
Their neighbors at Egg Press (http://eggpress.com/) have been creating greeting cards and lifestyle products since 1999, including work with big companies like Ace Hotel and Apple. We love this peek-through thank you card in contrasting geometrics.
Farther afield, in Pennsylvania, Lisa Krowinski of Sapling Press (http://saplingpress.com/) is busy making the quirky, big-lettered statements you can’t help but love, like this one.
In Swan’s Island, Maine, the duo behind Saturn Press creates nostalgic greeting cards inspired by designs from the Art Nouveau and craft movements. Jane Goodrich does the illustrations—often based on imagery drawn from the public domain— and James van Pernis presses them into being on their 1950 Heidelberg press. They even make luggage tags.
It’s a mini Craftsman Platen Press for Oddball Press, (http://oddballpress.com) the Cleveland, Ohio company with the quirky sense of humor. We love their family tree and their fun calendars.