Kseniya Thomas of Thomas-Printers on why she loves the business of letterpress:
We're commercial letterpress printers at Thomas-Printers, which means we primarily print others' designs. This provides us with a great variety of work: we've printed on sheet copper for napkin rings, printed corporate invitations for functions we're not allowed to talk about, and even printed a birth announcement for the son of a German princess. Germany still has princesses! So every day brings a new challenge, but that keeps me looking forward to work every day and to making whatever it is I'm printing look great. One of the best parts of my job is the printer-client interaction: talking to customers about letterpress, educating them about what we do and how letterpress works best, and working together to make a beautiful finished piece.
That's what draws me to printing: the communal nature of what looks like a solitary thing, a woman at her printing press. I love making things every day, interacting with my customers, and problem solving each new job's challenges. The fact that I get to work with antique machines, beautiful paper, and killer designs doesn't hurt either. I really believe in making things by hand, and keeping people involved with processes, and am thankful every time someone chooses a handmade invitation over one made by a machine in a huge plant. That choice not only supports me and the business, but also a whole ecosystem of other humans, from papermakers to plate makers to the postal worker who delivers the finished invitation. Choosing print is an increasingly important choice, and I'm hopeful that the relationships we've established will help keep printed things vital far into the future.
The (other, so many!) great thing about letterpress printing is the community of printers. While we all have our unique methods and ways of getting ink onto paper, and getting that printed thing out into the world, we all share a love of the craft and a commitment to its continuance. A friend and I started Ladies of Letterpress about six years ago to help encourage the community of printers out there to come together and share knowledge—we now have almost 2000 members all over the world.
UPPERCASE would like to thank Thomas-Printers for their ongoing support of UPPERCASE. As we transition away from ads in our print magazine, we are very pleased to have Thomas-Printers' ad on our blog sidebar. If you are a creative business owner and would like to advertise with us, we would be happy to hear from you.