The World Changes - or: Why Letterpress is Important for Us

No, I’m not writing this article to talk about the world ending in 2012 or Maya calendars or any of that stuff. What I really want to talk about is the change of mindset I see in myself and the society around me in the last years.
Not long ago we found it fancy to eat crazy “good” stuff with all kinds of amazing flavors and zero-calories, of course. Now we want strawberries. Just strawberries, fresh from the farmer’s market. The purer - the better. We are getting afraid of preservatives, artificial colors and what they might do with our bodies. We also would like to know who the person is we are buying the strawberries from. Is he a nice guy (and treats our strawberries well)?

We start feeling sick of and overwhelmed by all these industrial products. As well as we get tired of the demand our whole society raises that we should get better and faster every day. Many of us feel the pressure of working long hours and the expectations to be available on demand anytime. And as much as we try to fulfill this request, our bodies and souls are overwhelmed and tell us to stop. Many of us are tired of this pressure and are counting the days until the next vacation, no matter how long ago the last one has been. Some of us even get burnout or depressions.

And while watching all of us buying goods we see a change as well. Individual products are key nowadays. People don't want that random, industrial stuff anymore just because it looks pretty. They want to connect with what they buy and want it to tell a story.

"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right."

Nelson Mandela

This in mind and having passion for something they love some people try to escape this world and choose a healthier lifestyle for themselves. This doesn’t mean it’s an easy life everyday, not at all! But it means YOU decide what YOU do WHEN. And are owner of your schedule and work style. In our print shop we feel at home. Our presses, inks, and type make us feel good. Yes, we have difficult customers. But they are rare and we get over them. It’s not that we don’t want to have any problems. We know that life has its ups and downs. But we want to deal with real people. We want to have time. We want to eat healthy, organic food. We want to do stuff with our hands. And we want to do things OUR way on OUR schedule.

That’s why we love letterpress. We take the time to think and do what we need to do. We set type by hand and ink our press for every single color. After printing with the first color we clean the press for the next color. One print can take hours until it’s perfect. But we know that it’s worth it. We allow us time to think this through and let each step take as long as it takes. We don’t use short cuts (OK, sometimes we do…) but enjoy the process of building something real with our hands. And although many of our customers don’t even knew what letterpress was before they had a piece of it in their hands they feel the difference.
This brings us back to another world. A time in the past long ago where nothing was virtual (except God probably) but all real. When you had time to talk with each other. A time when everyone cared about each other. A time that was all about local communities.

Our modern world is great, don’t get me wrong! And I’m sure we all can find a lifestyle that combines our modern-world convenience with some of these nice old features that we seemed to have lost a while and now re-explore. Twitter and Facebook are a great examples. You can (obviously) use them to throw random stuff on an audience you don’t know. But you can also try to establish true relationships with your audience that you care about and talk with them in a more convenient way than you could in earlier days. And I’m sure many of us would miss the convenience to fly somewhere instead of riding there by horse. So, probably it’s not only about time but about mindset. That allows us to get back to our truly selfs and have time to talk to family and friends, treat our body with respect, and work hard on what we love.

I wonder: Is it just me or do you feel the same? Let's talk!

Cheers, Kristin


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