When did you start letterpress printing?:
What do you like best about letterpress printing?:
Creation of beautiful tactile things by hand.
What inspires you?:
Everything. I'm inspired by knowing that we are not just keeping old technology working, we are part of reviving it. Moving it forward, and keeping it actually alive is an amazing feeling. When we started, someone at a show said to me that polymer was wrong. I respected him and his craft, but I couldn't disagree more. Over the many years of this ‘Black Art’ different technologies have come about. From wood, to handset metaI, from handset to machine metal setting, to polymer, in each case the preceeding generation would have been against change. I guess my point is, if we as an industry don't adapt and embrace change, it will just run right over us. To me this this is an exciting time for print in general and our niche letterpress industry more so. Going up against the instant society, mobile devices and the all the information on the internet is kind of fun. The idea that some people today thinking printing is a push of a button, just like everything else in their lives. It's sad but interesting too. I love all technology, I'm not against it, I work in the digital age at an ad agency so I deal with it everyday. But I also know how to create stuff by hand still and that gives me a lot of pleasure and sometimes insight. If people forget how to create by hand or even think for themselves without needing to go to Google first, then we are in big trouble. All of that inspires me to continue to learn, design and print more. And to show people that there are other ways to do things.
Which press(es), ink & paper do you usually use?:
C&P Pilot. Vandercook SP15. Caligo Relief Safe Wash. Strathmore, Neenah, Reich, St.Armand, Gmund and Crane.
How would you describe your artwork?:
Modern design. Typographic focus. Fun. We like to mix polymer, metal and wood.
What kind of products do you create?:
Wedding invites, greeting cards, coasters, posters, limited edition artwork and whatever else we can do.
Where can we buy your products?:
Do you offer workshops? If yes, what kind of?:
We have done intro work shops. But we like doing customized private classes, so we can tailor what the client wants to learn or achieve.
Is there anything you wished you had known as a beginner?:
Not really, part of the fun and experience is the learning as you go. I'm always learning and developing my own style. There are many ways to achieve the same thing, so not getting discouraged is the one thing I would tell anyone new. And that when you pull your first print, sometimes it’s not what you are expecting. I played on my press for almost a year – testing, fiddling – before I ever printing anything for a client. I needed to be confident that I could achieve results for my clients. And when I look back, I know that I continue to get better as I go. It takes time, this is a craft as much as it is a mechanical process. You have to try and experiment all sorts of materials, technics and designs. Taking this vintage equipment and then mixing in a modern take is truly fun for me. The other thing to know before you get into this, is that it can be very expensive. Not just in money but your time, but you'll get out what you put into it. All these companies trying to capitalize on the letterpress movement, with the home units made out of plastic or any of the quick methods are all just missing the entire point, the art and the beauty. If you can't afford your own equipment, rent time at a local press. You'll be much happier with the results and won’t be throwing your money away. There is nothing instant about letterpress, we have made our own decision not to use any motorized presses. That's just our decision, but we're glad we have made it. Yes, we have had to turn down larger run projects, but we're ok with that. Our work takes time but we will put all our effort to that project. If people want cheap printing than there are many outlets out there for them. That's just not our market. So if you are getting into this, pick a market, pick your niche and do it well. I would rather print 100 beautiful and sometimes imperfect cards that are all unique to themselves, than 10,000 exactly the same and absolutely perfect cards. Also know that no matter what you do, someone can always do it cheaper. Stick to your guns and your beliefs, people do appreciate the time and effort that goes into this. In all industries, there will always be likes of McDonalds, or the Walmarts. In our case, now with Apple selling letterpress cards there is a mass produced, easy way to get “custom” letterpress at a cheaper cost. That's just the way it is. But that will never stop me from doing what I love to do... so don’t let it stop you.