Setting Up The New Letterpress Shop
There is just no other way to get a deep bite into the paper. Printed items that are tactile are more easily remembered and create a great mental impression.
I have been enamored with letterpress for a while. As a designer, I love the total hands on experience of printing. It forces you to think about how the design will interact with the inks, plates, and type of paper. When you are printing, you actually touch every single piece of paper. I love having my own press because it gives me total control of the design process from idea to fulfillment. I have been learning as much as I can about the art form and trying to incorporate it into as many projects as possible. I suppose the best part is watching people react to the print pieces as they feel the deep indentation of the printed piece. It is a tactile experience and one that leaves lasting impression.
This press is a beast. It is over 1000 lbs of steel and charm, and was made right here in Cleveland, OH. I found this press at a print shop in Pittsburgh, PA and the owner was no longer using it since he had several Heidleburgh Windmill presses. The press was on a palette and was lifted by forklift into our truck and out onto the loading dock. We rolled it up through the freight elevator and into it’s new home. To me, this press is functional art. It is beautiful, but has also been working strong for over a hundred years. Here are a couple pictures of our process. Follow us on instagram to see some of the things we are printing. Enjoy.
A couple of details:
Chandler & Price was founded in 1881 in Cleveland, Ohio, by Harrison T. Chandler and William H. Price. They manufactured machinery for printers including a series of hand-fed platen jobbing presses, as well as an automatic feeder for these presses (the Rice Feeder), paper cutters, book presses, and assorted equipment. Despite dominating the industry in the 1930s, by the 1950s the offset printing industry had eclipsed the world of movable type printing, and only Chandler & Price and Brandtjen and Kluge continued to make open platen (Gordon) presses. Chandler & Price ceased production of presses in 1964.