Letterpress Printing
December 8, 2005 4:12 AM   Subscribe

The Briar Press is a fantastic resource for those interested in letterpress printing. It includes (amongst many other things) a museum, downloadable ornaments and a guide to buying your first handpress.
posted by johnny novak (13 comments total)
after searching, I found it had been mentioned in this askme thread, but I think it merits its own FPP.
posted by johnny novak at 4:14 AM on December 8, 2005

it is a nice resource.. thanks for sharing.
posted by geeky at 5:53 AM on December 8, 2005

Precisely what I have been looking for. Thank you!!
posted by KevinKarl at 6:31 AM on December 8, 2005

I *heart* briar press. I'm sending some rollers to be recast by a company I found via briar press.

(see also this letterpress thread of yore)
posted by shoepal at 6:36 AM on December 8, 2005

I had no idea photoengraved cuts were so affordable. This is great! Thanks.
posted by crumbly at 6:39 AM on December 8, 2005

Wonderful site - thanks.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:59 AM on December 8, 2005

Hey, fantastic. Just what I needed for my holiday cards. The site has some nice Deco cuts.

I'll never forget the first time I recieved a Christmas card hand-printed on a letterpress. I didn't know anything about printing at the time, or how the card was produced, but just holiding it in my hands I could tell that it was different. There's an ineffable, craftsmanlike quality to them.
posted by Miko at 7:00 AM on December 8, 2005

Ah! A letterpress thread!

Folks interested should also see if there's a regional/local book arts group near them like San Francisco Center for the Book or Asheville's duo of Bookworks and Blue Barnhouse (the two share a building in West Asheville).
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:02 AM on December 8, 2005

Thanks for this. I've wondered about buying a letterpress but haven't really pursued it or known where to start. This is a great place to do both.
posted by OmieWise at 7:23 AM on December 8, 2005

I'm curious, what would be the practical applications for a letter press of the type on the 'guide to buying' link?

Is there any real commercial application, or is it more for those who want a hands-on experience in producing their own printed material, in a hobby sort of way?

Note: I'm not suggesting that a commercial application is necessary; I'd seriously love to get myself one of these if I had the wherewithal to purchase one, and if they were readily available in Australia.
posted by planetthoughtful at 9:29 AM on December 8, 2005

You Mac folks will probably laugh and crow, but the lovely cuts and caps are downloadable only in the .sit compressed archive format that requires Stuffit, which for the, um, minority of us computer users on a Windows system, the expander is ONLY available as part of a 20MB trial installation of the full archive creation software, complete with pain-in-the-ass web site navigation, forced inclusion on their marketing email list, wait for download URL, and even lovely hidden "phone home" functionality for the software vendor's benefit. The talented, wonderful Briar folks should really just .zip the stuff so everyone can easily access it.
posted by twsf at 9:35 AM on December 8, 2005

Yeah, twsf, I noticed that as well. Odd.
posted by shoepal at 9:50 AM on December 8, 2005

On the one hand, I dearly love letterpress. Just now I'm in the middle of restoring an old 9x13 Kelsey Excelsior, and I can't wait until it's fit to print with. On the other hand, it's been hard enough already to affordably assemble a basic printing setup, so don't go spreading this around too much!

But maybe I'm just cranky at seeing the ridiculous selling prices of wood type on ebay. Hamilton is the only company I know of who still makes it, and even then they only offer two styles. It's almost enough to make me want to invest in a router and a pantograph, if only so I can fill in the letters missing from the sets of type I do own. ..
posted by Vervain at 2:08 PM on December 8, 2005

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