Over the years we’ve amassed a collection of vintage letterpress cuts. These dies were mostly etched in wood or or copper and some are dated back to the late 1800′s! Within the collection are examples of typography, illustration, & just pure weirdness that we think you would die to have… So have them you will. You see, we’ve begun the process of printing each and every one of these vintage cuts. After they’ve all been put to paper, we’ll scan ‘em, zip ‘em, and have them available as hi rez bitmaps for your inspirational enjoyment! Sound good? I think so.
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps was birthed in 1867 and and still operates today. They produced some seriously gorgeous hand-lettered maps back in the day, many of which can be found in the Library of Congress. These late 19th and early 20th century type treatments are well worth passing around for all the design world to be inspired by. See the entire scanned collection at BibliOdyssey. (Most of the images on that page link to hi-rez scans on Flickr!) There’s also a great little discussion/comment thread in BibliOdyssey’s entry on Typography vs. Lettering. Some real nerd stuff. Love it.
You design something like this and send it over for a letterpress print on some tea-stained paper and I’ll be well inclined to give you a seriously hooked-up price on it!
So I’m going to try something that requires a little discipline here… If you follow us on the Twitter and Facebook, you’ve probably seen ‘What’s on Press…’ which is basically a snapshot of whatever we have on press that day. We’re pretty good about keeping up with it and people seem to like it. Well, we print a lot more than we get to share – so each week I’m going to try and collect everything in bulk and put it out there. I really feel lucky to work with all of the wonderful designers who we print for, and hope that sharing the work that goes through our presses will help inspire you to see the possibilities that still exist with traditional print mediums. I’ll be trying to make it a Friday thing – forgive me for jumping the gun a bit early this week! Enjoy this weekly update – and if you want daily’s make sure to follow our FB & Twitter. Both links can be found in the right column of this here blog.