The resurgence of interest in letterpress printing over the last decade or so has been driven largely by the demand for unique, memorable and deluxe wedding invitations. I am always glad to hear from people planning their Special Day and I take pride in providing couples a typographic service that communicates to family and friends the style of ceremony they can expect from the invitation.
Here are two recent invites that I happened to be working on at the same time, for two different sets of personalities. One wanted something formal and elegant, and got miles of carefully spaced small caps and a double-rule border. The other wanted something more lush to go with their summer wedding in Florida, and so we planted a lot of floral ornamentation. They were both right!
Modern context. The form for the website/RSVP card included in the Florida wedding invite above. Almost everything I print is comprised of hand-set metal type and ornament, both of which I have in abundance and in a wide range of styles. For custom designs, line drawings can be reproduced as photoengravings and printed with the type.
Free Lobster Ticket
This was something silly designed for the purpose of balancing the platen on my new-to-me (circa 1940) tabletop press. I found it in an antique shop in Newburyport, MA, and all it needed was a fresh set of rubber rollers. Once equipped, it has served me well during traveling demonstrations, as the basic process of letterpress printing, whether the press weighs 50 pounds or 1500 pounds, remains the same. And who doesn’t love a free lobster?
A shoemaker’s children may go barefoot, but a printer’s daughter shall not go without letterpress printed birth announcements. This design arrived before she did, having purchased the lamb photoengraving with an eye toward this very purpose. I took the liberty of hand coloring the lamb and flowers because first-time fatherhood is no time for restraint. Letterpress printed in Centaur and Arrighi types.
Farmers Market Poster
I support my local farmers market by donating a promotional broadside for putting up around town and in neighboring communities. As it is within walking distance from my shop, I often try to wheel my easel over to a shady spot and do a carving demonstration for market goers. This version was hand set in Albertus and Bulmer types with a few reproduction wood engravings thrown in for period flavor.
These proud parents welcomed their little cub into the world with custom birth announcements. Letterpress printed in Van Dijck and Hebrew and shown here on two different shades of Strathmore Pastelle paper.
When people visit my shop at the Harwich Cultural Center I like to have something to give them as a keepsake. These bookmarks were printed in time to hand out at the Center's first Open Studios in July 2017.
Most of my work is based on custom commissions, but I usually find time every December to print a run of holiday cards to be sold at craft fairs or sent out to family and friends.
The Special Collections librarian at a Texas college asked me to print a keepsake celebrating an exhibition they hosted featuring the work of a pioneering Texas printer. The trifold format allowed me to conceal a lot of text in a small dimension for easy mailing.
MLK Jr. Project
This is a quote I hope one day to carve in stone, but in celebration of his most recent birthday I decided to print as a miniature broadside. It has become an unofficial shop motto.