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We rescued an amazing old press from becoming molten steel as scrap. Help us take 'er out of retirement to printing awesomeness again!
We rescued an amazing old press from becoming molten steel as scrap. Help us take 'er out of retirement to printing awesomeness again!
53 backers pledged $2,459 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates


Why, hello! We didn't forget about you!

Posted by Tiffany Smith (Creator)

Hey, everyone, thanks so much to those of you who have taken the time to answer our survey! Sorry that all the questions are mandatory, I know that not all of them applied to each of you. For those of you who have yet to answer the survey, please please please do that soon!

I (Tiffany) have been a little buried under freelance design client work. It's been a little crazy around here. Our Boxcar base has arrived along with our Pantone color guides and our roller gauge. We've sent off our rollers to be restored and our foot treadle could arrive from Hern Ironworks any day now. It's almost a little bit too much to sit around and anticipate the mail every day. Haha! We're very excited to see all our parts coming together.

Another awesome piece of news is that we have found some studio space! A good friend and coffee roaster extraordinaire has kindly offered to split his roasting office space up and make room for our press and some of our supplies. It's at a great price and it's literally 5 minutes from home. So exciting!

Anyway, that's all of our fantastic news right now. We appreciate your patience as I (Tiffany) wrap up a couple of web design projects so we can shift gears and focus on the letterpress. This may mean that the rewards schedule will shift back a month or two, but that's only so that everyone gets the quality products they deserve for supporting us. If you have any further questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to get in touch!

We'll be posting photos in the next few days!

Watch your inboxes this week!

Posted by Tiffany Smith (Creator)

For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.


Posted by Tiffany Smith (Creator)

Thank you so so so very much, everyone, for making our letterpress restoration project for Stubborn Press & Company a SMASHING SUCCESS. You are ALL so awesome!

You will all be contacted early next week if we need more information for your rewards, and once we'll continue to update here with process photos, etc. until our website is up and running.

YAY! <3

One Week Left!

Posted by Tiffany Smith (Creator)

Wow, thank you to everyone who has made this such a blessed, affirming time for us in our new business venture—all of your financial pledges to our letterpress restoration have been an encouragement that we really can't put into words. We are SO psyched to be getting our hands dirty fixing up the machine come mid-April. You are all are fantastic for being a part of this with us, and we promise to take lots of photos and find some fun stories (hopefully not too many that involve cast iron and flesh) to tell along the way.

This last week, we'll be offering a 25%-off future purchases coupon to any new pledges we receive, so if anyone would like to continue sharing links to this project, we'd really appreciate it.

Lastly, I (Tiffany) forgot to mention earlier that I was interviewed about SP&Co on TechZwn by Joshua Philip. He asked some awesome questions, and I thought I'd include both a link and the original transcript here for you all to enjoy.

You can find my interview here.

And here is the original transcript:

JP: You mention you’ve often daydreamed about owning a letterpress. What is it about the old letterpresses you’re drawn to over the printers of today?

TS: Most digital printing today (outside of the design process) is very hands-off. You just push a button, load the paper, and you're good to go. You can walk away and let the printer do its thing until you have to change the ink cartridges, and that's about as up close and personal as you get to most conventional digital printers. Industrial off-set printing is perhaps a little more involved, but much like screen printing, letterpress printing is a very hands-on process.

I like that.

Some presses, like ours, are run by foot-power instead of by a motor. Our press will be hand-fed (that's each sheet of paper placed by hand onto the press before it makes another impression). There are much more automated letterpress machines still available with motors and automatic feeder systems, but they all still require setting up the form (that is, the image) by hand. Even if you use a photopolymer plate, you still have to set up the design in the press and find the alignment yourself. Nothing is calibrated for you. You have to mix your ink yourself, too. No computer to tell your cartridges how much to mix.

All of this stuff attracts me. I love being hands-on whenever possible in the creative process, whether it be the design of the piece itself or the printing of it. I guess turning to letterpress printing is kind of like a return to my fine arts' roots, even as a graphic designer who still loves the web and Photoshop on a daily basis.

JP: On your Kickstarter page, you write “… the amazing tactile nature of letterpress printing is cause enough for all of us to pause in our busy lives just to … feel.” This sounds interesting. Could you talk about this a bit?

TS: Well, this is something I find interesting about letterpress printing today. Hundreds of years ago, leaving a tangible impression on the paper was a sign you were a bad printmaker … whereas today, that deep, crisp emboss into the thick, cotton paper that we recognize and call "letterpress" is very popular. When printing presses were the only means of publishing books, leaving an impression on the page meant that it would show through both sides or even tear thin paper. Printers had to strive for what is called a "kiss" impression--the ink from the plate would just touch the paper enough to leave the image behind, not actually press into the paper.

However, today most people recognize letterpress printing by the opposite. That deep impression is what many people want on their paper. I feel like this is because we don't touch paper as much as we used to. We have flat screen TVs and smart phones with glass faces. We touch ATM screens instead of talking to people at the bank. Our computer keyboards are quiet instead of the loud clacking of typewriters. Our sense of touch is bored. There isn't as much texture in our daily lives.

Cotton paper is thick and heavy. It has grain. It has a definite feel to it. Add to that the impression a letterpress print makes into the surface, and we have to touch it. We like to touch it. It's novel. It's refreshing. It's also very beautiful.

JP: I like your perspective on what print can do. You mention that “Through beautiful printing of entertaining, slightly geeky, and pretty things, we want more people to pause and enjoy life a little more.” I’ve never thought of print like that before. Could you elaborate on this a bit - how can print bring these about?

TS: Like I mentioned a little bit in the above answer, I think that because our lives are so overstimulated in some ways, digital speaking, we often miss out on stimulating our more tactile senses. Something like a letterpress print forces us to stop and touch it, which in turn invites us to pause in our busy lives and appreciate what we're holding, whether it's a wedding invitation or a business card.

When I hand out my letterpress printed business cards to people, they usually say, "Wow, that's heavy." or "Nice paper." They immediately feel the difference from their card stock paper digitally printed cards. When they get past they paper, people often run their fingers over the impression of my logo and my name. They feel like they simply have to touch the printed part to see if the impression is really there. And it is!

Good things slow us down, not speed us up. We're so focused on hurrying through life sometimes, and we miss out on appreciate the little enjoyable things around us. I like that letterpress printing offers an opportunity to slow down, even for just a tiny moment, like a good, healthy meal or a warm cup of fresh coffee.

JP: Where do you see this going a few years down the road? I’m sure the common line will be around it being difficult to mass produce anything with a letterpress - what would you say to someone with this opinion?

TS: I'm not really interested in ever getting into mass production, though with beautiful machines like Hiedleburg Windmills or Kluges with automatic feeders, mass production is possible with a letterpress machine. There are print shops out there making beautiful things on a mass-market scale, but with letterpress, it still feels limited and timeless. I'm not sure if I ever want to do too much wholesale as a company, even if we're invited to do so in a few years down the road. I like art that is limited in quantity and memorable in quality. Life is short, and it's okay if we stick with limited runs of certain prints. Not that I don't want repeat customers, but I like the idea of transience in my work. I have a bit of creative wanderlust from time to time.

In a few years, we'd love to be a part of our town's growing arts community. I'd love to be offering classes to curious art students or students of life. It'd be fun to be teaching brides & grooms in individual sessions how to print their own invitations for the memory of the experience together. I know I'd like to end up accidentally acquiring a few more printing presses … probably some metal or wood type … pretty paper … I hear that once you get into letterpress printing, collecting those things is kind of addicting. I'm okay with that. It should be fun.

We'd really like to build a sustainable, local business. We want to plant roots in our community and help other people grow through what we do. I want to make beautiful things that people appreciate, even if they're as mundane as a package or a business card or as unique as a custom wedding invitation. I hope that in a few more years, I'll still be doing these things, only I'll be better at it.

Finding a creative niche and discovering the types of people we serve best. That would be awesome.

JP:  Is there anything else you’d like to say?

TS: Nope, I think that about covered it. Thanks so much for the interview about our press & the company we're hoping to start up in May—it was an unexpected treat!

Oh hey there! We're half-way through and well over 100%!

Posted by Tiffany Smith (Creator)

Thanks everyone for your continued support. It's been really awesome to see you sharing about this project with others! I (Tiffany) have been swamped with freelance work and our video has not been finished. Apparently, we're cool enough to beat the odds here on Kickstarter and still reach well over 100% without flapping our lips to a camera.

Again, I Tiffany thank you for that. I always turn into a blithering idiot in front of a camera. In front of a microphone, it's even more embarrassing.

We may still try to finish strong and have a video ready for the last two weeks of this project. It would still be fun to be featured on the front page or to reach more people who don't know us personally.

We're so excited that the end of March seems very far away. We can't wait to start getting packages full of press parts and ink and other goodies, and we can't wait to get to printing all of your awesome stuff!

Okay, back to work. Thanks again. :)