Behind the Letterpress

About Photo

photo credit: Sal Taylor Kydd

The beauty of fine paper and stationery has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. Over the years I did many things professionally, I planned parties and produced feature films, but all the while I always made stationery by hand for my friends and family. Then I had the opportunity to study letterpress printing under Gerald Lange (considered by many to be the finest letterpress printer in the country) at Otis College of Design. Gerald taught me everything I know and my love for paper crystallized into a love for letterpress printing, a passion for inscribing words and images on paper with a technique both ancient and timeless. My philosophy of letterpress printing is this: each piece should be beautiful, functional and represent your personal style. I am glad that I am now able to create these beautiful pieces not just for my friends and family but for everyone.

Modern letterpress printing is not much different today than when it was first invented by Johan Gutenberg in the 1400’s. Although I use a Vandercook SP-20 cylinder proof-press from the 1960’s, just as in Gutenberg's time, I print each piece individually and by hand. I mix the ink by hand to the specification of each project and I crank the machine by hand when I print. Letterpress printing is a very laborious and time consuming process but the result is well worth it. If you’ve ever held a piece of well printed letterpress stationery in your hand, you will agree that the tactile nature of the impression in the paper combined with the richness of the ink and the luxuriousness of the paper is an experience like no other. In addition, I am proud to use 100% tree-free cotton paper and environmentally friendly soy based inks in all my letterpress printing.