We like to think of letterpress as Slow Food Meets Printing around here. After working for so many years hiring giant offset presses, and watching the transition to digital presses (and then, that technology improving by dramatic leaps and bounds), there's a breath of fresh air that comes with the old technology.
Many of the schools around here had their Spring Break last week, which is a chance for the kids to take a breather and hopefully to find a little boredom and white space in that break. For sure our teacher friends found some margin to take their shoes off and sit on the porch for a spell (the ones that slowed down to take the opportunity for copious naps, anyway).
Letterpress for sure has its pressure with getting custom jobs done fairly quickly in the modern age. Even "back in the day" they felt the need for speed, with typesetting contests in the park and newspapers running daily. Still, you can only go so fast with this equipment before you start to hit dangerous territory for both you and the press.
We welcome this slower pace when we get the chance—the margin to explore, to create, to experiment, and to enjoy the meditative quality running these jobs offers. Dottie, our Challenge 15MP pictured above, runs a little more slowly than our C&P Venus. It's part of the process, and one we relish.
There's still a time and place for the large commercial printing, to be sure. We're on the phone almost daily with our printing partners to ensure our offset and digital print jobs for clients are running smoothly—it's a nice contrast to the letterpress work, and we find we enjoy both greatly.