Posts in Letterpress Printers
My Mom speed-walks up to the library with her tote bag to solve whatever needs solving. She uses their Xerox machine to copy important pages of uncheckoutable periodicals and checks out the books that are checkoutable. When she is done, she scampers home to (speed) read those books and take notes on a fresh pack of 3″ x 5″ (lined) index cards. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
I also feel compelled to solve whatever needs solving but I prefer never leaving my laptop (or house) and using Google to search the World Wide Web. Just this week, I needed to get to the bottom of the origin of our Stone Table.
I opened the drawer and took this photo of the (seedy) underbelly:
APPARENTLY Barnhart Bros. & Spindler operated out of Chicago from 1883 – 1911, BEFORE THAT they were called the Great Western Type Foundry AND THEN they became American Type Founders.
I also learned that ye olde printers used the smooth and clean side of the slab of granite for their own personal gravestone – I can’t wait to share this info with Jen! My brother will be so happy, he hates waste and loves recycling.
After I finished my important research, and because the Intern gave me a huge stack of Tribunes from 1938 to steal graphics from, I wrote and designed a card.
Facebook is so good at reminding me of important dates, LEST I FORGET. Normally I’d chisel a statue to honor a significant event, but I settled on creating a letterpress greeting card and ALLOWING the Intern and Jen to print it.
It will be added to our much anticipated Spring Release. And I’m sure if Prince were still on Planet Earth, he’d whisper a thank you and dance away in his tiny high heels.
Dinah always makes such a big deal about choosing paper and envelope color for a new release.
First, she has Jen print a card:
And then she does this:
She is such a taskmaster.
Does Jen hate letterpress printing SO much that I have to create and license all of the art and farm it off to art licensing companies??
The latest for RSVP:I know one thing for sure. ONE THING. Jen would really hate to print these multi-colored designs. She makes me live in a monochromatic world. But see how I defy?? FIVE colors??
And now they want more cards! FINE.I’m such a rebel.
When I was 18 years old, a friend and I drove her crappy car to the Superior National Forest for an event. I didn’t have my driver’s license so I only drove half way. The event was called The Rainbow Gathering and was full of fascinating (high and naked) people. Highlights of the trip: Sitting in a tent all night with a group of strangers and not getting raped. And I think some other things happened but I’m not sure if they were real.
Aren’t subcultures fascinating??
Brandon Mise studied Letterpress Printers Around The World and made a book: Adventures In Letterpress:AND he put a Zeichen Press project in it! It was that 4-color halftone/impossible feat of letterpress printing that we made for the Tanek Christmas card one year:Remember that? Little Nat and Ken sitting on scary Santa’s lap?? Did that event really happen?? Shhhhhhh, don’t speak or everyone will know how simple-minded you are.
Counting is not as easy as it looks. The intern and I had to count cards (we love to gamble) for a big Kate’s Paperie order.
Holiday cards in June?My life is an endless sacrifice.
All of that counting tasted terrible, and so to cleanse her palette, the intern put a lot of ampersands together. That looked exactly like this:And because I need attention, I made this:See, it’s a profound cultural statement? DO YOU SEE?!
Print shops are full of danger.
Hands mangled, digits lost, clothes torn right off of bodies… (I better fact-check that last one).
Zeichen Press is no exception.
Behold:Look if you must. Sometimes it is better to face the painful, it desensitizes the mind.
That’s good, right?
Because I am so committed to my craft, I (by “I”, I mean “my son”) squished the spider, and finished laying out this card:Mother’s Day is coming up but you don’t have to get your mom a card.
But I did take French in high school so I know all about magnetephones, l’autobus, et la lunettes pour Luc.
For the foreseeable future, I will stay within a 30 mile radius of the Zeichen Press headquarters and dream of faraway lands.Feeling the need for a Field Trip, I went to the Other Side Of Minneapolis and visited Rex Mills. I walked through the front door, broke the tenth commandment, (You shall not covet – geez, get your mind out of the gutter) pretended I had something in my eye, snapped some photos, threw a drink in the owner’s face, stole five pounds of ink, and left.That man in the photograph is not the owner — Rex Mills has Press Operators.
I will kidnap him as soon as my taser gun arrives in the mail.
How To Play:
• Using a neighborhood approved selection method (engine, engine #9 — bubblegum, bubblegum in a dish, etc.) select The Witch.
• Use the same method to select a Guinea Pig.
• The remaining players are Runners.
• The Witch leads The Guinea Pig away. (This should be terrifying.) The Witch hides The Guinea Pig — not on the garage roof. (This might be tempting. Don’t do it.)
• The Witch gives (verbally) a list of tasks to The Guinea Pig — things like: A) Run around the house three times singing The Happy Birthday Song. B) Dig a hole, bury one June Bug in it. C) Fill a hat with decorative rocks from the neighbor’s garden, etc.
• At this point, The Witch must call out “ready-or-not!” from wherever he/she is waiting/hiding.
• The “tasks” given to the The Guinea Pig are meant to lure the Runners off their safe-base and into the waiting/hiding clutches of The Witch while searching for the hidden Guinea Pig.
• When/if any Runners are caught by The Witch, he or she turns them into Another Guinea Pig. Meaning: They are hidden and given a new list of tasks for The Runners to complete.
• When tasks are completed for a particular Pig, a Runner must free them by tagging. The Guinea Pig must run to the safe-base without being caught by The Witch.
• If The Runners successfully free The Guinea Pig(s), they win the game.
• If The Witch catches all of The Runners, she/he wins the game.
* If someone wets their pants during course of play, a “time-out” should be called and fresh pants should replace wet pants.
In a bold (not really) and unprecedented (true) move, Zeichen Press will be offereing box sets of greeting cards that are not letterpress printed.
Hold your applause until the end.
We call this our Makeready Collection.
Letterpress printers (like us) need to test placement, packing, and color when printing something new. The same old piece of paper is printed on over and over again, resulting in an odd (and might I add, paranormal?) mishmash of goodness.
Our Makeready Collection imitates this letterpress printing practice using a computer and some other kind of printing. (Offset)
Here are the three designs: (Available for The New Year)
My retirement plans are needy and demand an Airstream Trailer
and a plot of land in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee — as close as possible to Dollywood.
That would be fine as cream gravy.
Yes, retirement — everyone does it differently. Some like to join communities in Arizona and some like to hoard cats. Hoard cats until one day they have a stroke, can’t get to the phone, die of starvation, and their beloved pets eat their face.
But everyone is so different! And as my Grandma Shea used to say, “It takes all kinds.”