11 February 2013

Lately I have been very intrigued by letterpress based design.  I enjoy the fact that it gives design a texture, looks clean and most of all very professional.  As of right now, it is the most appealing pproach to design in my opinion.  This being said, I believe it is quickly disappearing and becoming an art of the past.

Brady Vest of Hammerpress is the owner of Hammerpress, still using old techniques to create letterpress work.  A lot of letterpress settings are being generated by computer nowadays, which is definitely not as unique as hand-setting letters and designs like Brandy Vest still does.  He believes that although letterpress may be dying a bit, his work is growing because of the fact that it is done all by hand.  In a way, this gives his designs that sort of "hipster" feel that people are looking for.  By this I mean it is old fashioned and the fact that it is hard to come by makes it more wanted.  To see more work from Hammerpress, visit this webiste http://hammerpress.net/

http://www.boxcarpress.com/blog/tag/letterpress-print-shop/ is another blog run by Matt Robinson.  In this blog, many letterpress designs are shared by him, showing that letterpress is really very unique and beautiful.  Depending on what style of design you prefer, letterpress may not be appealing to you.  However, this is due to lack of education on letterpress.  Just by running through some images of letterpress posters or packaging, it is simple to see how much work goes into these designs.  They should be recognized and utilized more in my opinion.


  1. It's unfortunate that handmade techniques like this are disappearing. That Hammerpress site has a lot of really beautiful unique designs which should singlehandedly keep the art form alive. I'd love to learn how to do this someday- anything that can be done without computers is really valuable in my opinion.

  2. These designs are great! This would be a really fun medium to learn. It really does give a different vibe to the creations. Very pretty.

  3. Designs like this are so intriguing, clean and creative. It is sad to think that techniques of this sort are going out of style. I suppose you could say it is matter of personal preference to design something using this median/ technique. However doing so will give you that genuine feel that many seek. Plus the fact that you put the time and effort into it rather than simply computer generating, makes it that much more valuable.

  4. I really want to get into letterpressing! Creations are much more meaningful and have a unique quality to them. I think doing stuff by hand means so much more and I would love to have that experience working in a letterpress studio! Maybe John can point those interested in the right direction?

  5. Well, I'll certainly add that it is hardly a dead process, but it surely is a niche one. In recent years, it has actually become quite popular, especially in the invitation industry, but also make for an impressive business card, and other various items.

    Sadly, there isn't anyone with an operating shop in Flagstaff, but there are two in Tucson (and I'm sure others in PHX); Letterpress Finesse and one operated at the UA, where I learned and worked in letterpress. If enough people are interested in forming a small group, we might be able to arrange a field trip with the Jack Sinclair Letterpress Studio at the UA.

    One last item I thought I'd share, because I do love letterpress and miss it dearly, is a Swiss letterpress artist who does some awesomely contemporary design using the traditional press. And, he includes video for all of his projects—definitely a site worth spending some time on.


  6. IT would be awesome if we could go on a field trip like you said! I would be interested.
    I think the letterpress is very interesting. It would be cool to see more designs that use them and to use them ourselves. It would be lovely to work with a letterpress in a job in the future.