Halloween 2015!

Posted by brian on

This year we decided to stretch our printing muscles and produce a series of 3 vintage Halloween inspired prints. I have always associated Halloween with a particular graphic style. Flat colors, off-registered printing and simple colors. We worked with Michele to create the illustrations and printed them here, by hand, one at a time, at the studio on our 1872 GEO P. Gordon platen press.

Three prints, three plates each, three color changes…it was a beast of a print run. Each print going through the press three times over a marathon fifteen hour print run. It was super fun. It’s always nice to step away from web development and roll up the sleeves and dig in to some ink and paper. If you are not on our mailing list. Please shoot me an email and we will add you to the next one.



Preservation through production

Posted by brian on

I once attended a lecture by Jim Sherraden, the manager of the historic Nashville letterpress shop, Hatch Show Print. They are one of the oldest and well respected poster shops in the country. All of their work is still printed by hand on carefully maintained antique printing presses. If you haven’t heard of them, look them up here.

One of the subjects Jim talked about was, preservation through production. That concept really stuck with me. The best way to conserve these historic printing practices was to actually do them, not to restore old printing presses and put them in museums. Their dedication to a bygone craft was inspiring.

Several years ago, I met a retired gentleman at a barn sale who had decided to sell his old print shop. It included a GEO. P. Gordon antique platen press from the late 1870s, five cases of type with over eighty typefaces and all of the tools and trimmings. It was a great opportunity to learn something new. After giving it some serious thought and getting guidance from friend of the studio, letterpress printer Scott McClelland, from Paper Meets Press, we decided to go for it.

With a lot of help and a really long day of heavy lifting we managed to disassemble and remove everything and bring it out into the light. The press was old even by letterpress standards. A rare press that predates the most common presses of the late 19th century. It had over one hundred and forty years of dirt, oil and ink on it. It had to be carefully cleaned before we could put it all back together.

As a side project for the studio, over the course of six months, we would grab a part and go behind the studio to painstakingly clean each part with kerosene. It was an incredibly labor intensive dirty job. There were also two cast iron brackets that needed to be repaired. It wasn’t easy finding someone with the knowledge and skill to fix cast iron over a hundred years old. It took ages to find the right craftsman to do it right. Eventually, with the help of the original owner, we were able to put the press back together. Oiled and spinning it is a real sight to behold, a true labor of love.

The restored press proudly sits in the front window of our street level studio. It gets a ton of attention by folks sitting in their cars waiting for the light to turn green. We often catch people straining to figure out what it is. We run it as often as we can and it has brought a lot of joy, pride and energy to the studio.

It has become a constant reminder that we need to approach all of our work with the same careful attention to detail that goes into letterpress printing from the 19th century. If you have any questions about letterpress printing our would like to see a demonstration please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


We are extremely grateful for the help and support we have received in making this dream come true. We would like to thank photographer Russ Underwood for all his support and help moving thousands of pounds of cast iron and lead type and to Scott McClelland for his knowledge and advice.

Be Different – Be Blue

Posted by brian on

Blue is one of those clients you dream about. Incredibly creative and super passionate about their brand. With a talented staff of over 30 stylists and support staff they have a reputation, nationally, as a style leader and a trend setter.

Blue has an incredibly cool vibe. Housed in a historic inn and filled with antiques, artwork, creative inspiration and live music, you can see why they have such a loyal following.

We have had the pleasure of working with Blue on the relaunch of a new adaptive website. If you are in the area you should make an appointment. You can check out the site here.