Posts in Letterpress

Is letterpress too classy for you?

published by Fran Shea

It might be. I’m going to have to credit Martha Stewart with sparking the mainstream revival of the craft. Everyone settle down. If Martha and I ever met (someday on NBC 11:00AM CST) I would burst into tears. She’d slap me across the face and tell me to get ahold of myself. Oh, Martha! You always know just what to do! Zeichen Press has designed and printed its share of wedding related invitations – and we’re pretty certain that gives us some sort of carbon-neutral status. How? It’s pretty complicated – something to do with joy and decency neutralizing our usual gaucheness.

Hi, zeichenpress. Martha Stewart is following your tweets on Twitter.

published by Fran Shea

Oh, Martha Stewart!martha-stewart-is-following2-450x289

I wish I could believe that you were following Zeichen Press on Twitter because of the recycled Panko Japanese Style Breading box/press kit I sent you last August…press-box-closed

Or because of the letterpress art print I sent you last October…

cobb-hill-cemetery-print-for-martha-stewart-450x337

Or the baby I sent you last November…

loretta-screaming-sweet-no

Here’s the part about salvaging letterpress equipment:

published by Fran Shea

People (my mom) always (whenever she feigns interest) ask me, “where do you get this stuff?” Type, cabinets, printer’s cuts, ink, chases, quoins, sticks, cutters, furniture, leads, slugs, tympan, rollers… letterpress takes up a lot more space than this tidy little laptop. I wonder if that’s one of the reasons people stopped using it? I doubt it.

Jen and I both agreed that our favorite salvaging-situation involved a compulsive hoarder with a murder/torture-pit (alleged) in his basement. This house had it all; two commercial espresso machines:

nera-new-2-group-rails-small-180x121nera-new-2-group-rails-small-180x121

two Kluge Printing Presses:

kluge-butner

(just in case you’re wondering: TWO Kluge Printing presses are massive and would look like this if not covered in books, dvd’s, televisions, kleenex boxes, grocery bags, magazines and mail):

SONY DSC

a family-style restaurant booth: (this suspiciously barricaded the basement door)

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dozens of old computers: (so sentimental)old_computer

 

“stackable” type cabinets: (we took these)

type-cabinets-butner-basement

and this:

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and this:

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Oh, here’s a fun game:

Can you find the treasure in this photographic vignette?:

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How about here?:pixelated-face-450x600don-butner

°°°°

Oh, well. Enough of the sweet, sweet memories. Here’s part of our latest salvage:cabinet-of-wood-type western-wood-type condensed-wood-type

Wake up call

published by Fran Shea

I try so hard. Really, I do. I try to follow the rules.

I’m jealous of those people (is it everyone?) that climb out of bed at a respectable hour, get dressed, fuss with their hair, apply make-up, brush their teeth, read the paper, make and drink a cup of coffee…

In high school, my morning carpool (I say “carpool” but really it was just my friends carting me around like some sort of package. A smoking, swearing package) would lay on her horn outside my house while I lay in my bed – dreaming that I was missing tests because I was laying in bed dreaming that I was missing tests.

Step one:

published by Fran Shea

Part of the World Domination Plan involves a complete Zeichen Press website redesign. Just imagine our new logo in living, breathing, MOVING, technicolor! Oh, the anticipation dizzies me. My prop shopping list includes a wig and a man. …I guess my husband could be the man… Lord knows he’d love the attention. Especially the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

My friend Fred started photographing our product line. It’s a Fair Trade – just like when the Indians traded Manhattan for wampum.

PS: Did you know that Zeichen Press cards can be delivered right to your door? That’s right! You don’t even have to leave your house. Or your bed. Like me. What will they think of next??two-bald-men surprise-i-totally-forgot hello-is-this-the-police does-this-sandwich what-the-duck oh-kitty-where-have

As we descend into the bowels of that beast called Winter

published by Fran Shea

It is February 1.

If anyone is left please contact me. I have locked myself in the furnace room and my rations are dwindling. I am eating Panko Japanese Style Breading with a dirty popsicle stick and telling myself it’s Lik-A-Stix. Mmmmm, Lik-A-Stix…

Somehow, I was able to make this card:sup-dawg-450x577

Je m’appelle Françoise

published by Fran Shea

If I were getting married I would design and letterpress print my own invitation.

What am I saying?? No, I wouldn’t. I don’t even send out the Christmas cards that I design and letterpress print. WHAT??!! I know. This is a blog post and a confession.

Anyway, Minnesota Bride included  one of our wedding invitations in a nice little spread they called “Vintage in Vogue.”

See?

minnesota-bride-logo-450x173mn-bride

2. Inspired by the couple’s romantic first meeting in the city of love, designer Fran Shea blended imagery from Paris with a vintage postcard theme to create a classic yet distinctive invite. Using letterpress printing and a unique accordion layout, this design evokes an aura of chic French elegance. Zeichen Press, 612.432.1943, zeichenpress.com

A roomful of Letterpress printers

published by Fran Shea

It was everything I imagined. Except better, because of the chicken shots. Yum! 

Mary Bruno organized the event in honor of Amos Kennedy’s timely arrival. As far as I could tell, Amos is not related to THE Kennedy family. There were certain clues, like: He did not share that distinctive/made up accent or that glamorous head of hair. Also, he is black.

Anyway, Amos was there and we hugged like old friends. There was much talk, naturally, of printing presses. Mary Bruno ended up breaking a beer bottle and using it as a weapon – apparently her “street cred” was at stake. Boy was I glad to get out of there with only minor injuries. I wish I could say the same for Jen. Please send flowers and meals to our headquarters.

zeichen-press-hq

Two St. Paul printers showed up : Fred Petters of Vandalia Street Press and Bill Moran of Blinc PublishingBill was nice. Fred ate off of other people’s plates. I could go on and on but why should I when I have this amazing photograph that perfectly captured the evening?

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And this is where Fran and Jen learn to use their new Heidelberg

published by Fran Shea

Oh, the joy of leaning over a giant machine that has the potential to crush my hands and create such beauty!

I think I felt joy. Or panic? In any case, I felt some sort of feeling while leaning over the New Press. Karl (the previous owner) had explained, really clearly, the 1,000 things to know – why couldn’t I remember them?? Knobs, pulls, blades, grippers, clutch levers, friskets, sucker bars, rollers, toggles, gears, pins, springs… they all seemed to get tangled up in my mind.

Oh, so tangled!

Just like a rat king.rat-king

That’s what happens when the tail of one thought gets covered in feces and the tail of another thought gets stuck to it… and the tail of another thought gets stuck to the other thoughts. It’s all very messy and usually ends up in some Dutch chimney.

Anyway, here’s a snippet of our lesson: