Friday, May 29, 2009

Cool Blog Alert: FPO

FPO is For Print only, a blog by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit "dedicated to both the visual stimulus and the detailing of the development and production of printed matter: Annual reports, books, business cards, stationery suites, collateral materials, posters, packaging and anything else where ink meets substrate (source)." They are also friends and featurers of letterpress--cf today's example, printed by the Cranky Pressman for Jennifer Blanco:

They accept submissions of recent work, and each posting contains useful info about stock used, production time, and cost (curious about how you all would have priced out the Blanco job!). Essentially, the stuff I used to buy How for.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Recovery Act Wants YOU

If the economy is stressing both you and your business out, the Small Business Administration may want to give you free money. From the SBA's site:

SBA’s America’s Recovery Capital Loan Program can provide up to $35,000 in short-term relief for viable small businesses facing immediate financial hardship to help ride out the current uncertain economic times and return to profitability.

Some loans are interest free--this program runs till 2010. Get more details here.

Love your Machinist

I finally took the new press for a trial run this afternoon--it's new, of course, only in that it's new to me, though it's been sitting in its spot for a year while I got all the parts together. Here is the as-yet-unnamed press (sorry in advance for the low-res photos!):

It runs great, as it turns out, and had only ever had one owner. The hardest parts to find were not new rollers or other letterpress-era bits, but the modern stuff I needed to make it run. I found a motor on eBay, a belt on eBay, but the pulley eluded me. Then I thought: if you can't beat 'em, call the machinist and have one made. As we know, usually when something on the c+p breaks, heaven forfend, it's curtains for that press. The chase hook on my 12x18 broke at some point in the past, and my dad's machinist friend made me an aluminum beauty:

(needless to say, it doesn't look near that blindingly shiny anymore.)

So, I took the old, steel and leather pulley I had

to the local machine shop, and they measured it in and out, and made the perfect thing out of aluminum:

They even made a crown in the middle so that the belt gravitates toward the center. It cost about $115, but was just what I needed. I'm about to put some tape on it to make it a little more grippy, so I wanted to show it to you all before it became another hard-working shop part. If you want to see more pictures of the motor setup or hookup, just let me know.

Share your problem-solving stories in the comments below!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wacky Weddings? Promo Opportunity!

This came through the grapevine yesterday:

Newsweek is looking for a few fun brides who are loosening up the reins of tradition…wearing gowns that are sexier, hosting epic, just-like-the-boys bachelorette parties and booking boudoir shoots as gifts for their hubbies. If you know of any, the editor would love to chat with you!

If you're working with any clients who you suspect would be a good fit, send me an email or message and I'll forward along the editor's contact info.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fleuron Sale at P22

Time to clean out the stock art file and make room for some fresh fleurons! P22 is having an excellent sale on Lanston fleurons, to commemorate the birth of typographer Bruce Rogers. Get yours from the P22 website here.

Ah, weddings

I'm sorry for the lag in new stuff to read from me--we are still wading through Wedding River, sometimes upstream! Speaking of which, did you hear about this?

The Berkshire Eagle reports that Martha Stewart has partnered with Crane's for a new line of social stationery products, starting with wedding stationery.

Megan Kuntze, Crane's brand director, said last week's layoffs and wage cuts were done to keep the company profitable through 2009. Although the new line of wedding stationery will be released this spring, Crane isn't expected to experience the benefits of the partnership until the first quarter of 2010.

"A particular launch like this is going to be a very slow build to a successful business," Kuntze said. "It's not going to be overnight. There's a lot of moving parts and pieces to make this successful. It will only really begin to see the light of day in the first quarter of next year. In order to save 2009, it was imperative to make the difficult decision that we made.

"Could this turn things around?" she said. "It could be positive in making things go the other way."

The new stationery line will be available through Crane stationers that are equipped with the company's new "personalized design studio," which is a new ordering system, Kuntze said.

The article says Martha Stewart was once featured in a Crane stationery advertising campaign during her modeling days in the 1960s and 1970s. There are some Martha Stewart wedding invitations that show up in's database already. You can see Martha Stewart's Pearlized Striae Letterpressed Invitations (pictured above) here on Crane's website.

Via shoppingblog

What do you all think of this development in letterpress mass-production?