About Us

Letterpress-Shop-PicI’ve always worked for other print shops of one sort or  another, and after a stint roofing houses during the winter in the Minnesota cold. I warmed to the thought of commiting to printing as a career path.

My experience as a printer having run the gamut, from printing anything from church bulletins to architectural specifications on a Xerox, to small format offset then on to bigger better faster large format offset. Always working in smaller shops so the need to learn all the ancillary processes from cutting and folding and all the other finishing processes was a must.

But I’ll never forget the first time I saw a Kluge running. It was applying a magnetic ink to a consecutive number on some checks we were producing. That process, now no longer necessary was about the extent of its inking duties at the time. But what was truly fascinating was the fact that this old machine had learned a few new tricks. It could apply gold foil and emboss and cut different shapes. Printing was no longer square and flat. It was three dimensional. It attracted light, not to glare in your face but to highlight images.  It had curves and shape that invited your fingers to follow its contours. It had texture to feel in a way that a dot-matrix pattern just cannot duplicate. This truly fascinated me and the sight and sound of a letterpress running became food for my soul. I’ve never looked back.

I’ve worked for quite a few shops over the years, but one early boss/mentor of mine in his later years kept telling me I should start my own shop (his would belong to his kids after he was gone).

And so, after finding my way back to Minnesota, to raise a family while working at a couple of other shops, and for 12 plus years driving approximately 100 miles a day to and from work. I finally had the desire to start my own shop. To do what I do, where I live. To spend my time working, not driving to and from.

The Letterpress Workshop was formed in 1998. I worked nights and weekends for the first couple of years while keeping a day job, investing the money I made into more equipment and eventually building a shop replacing our garage on our property to house it all in (yes we roofed it ourselves).

The day finally arrived when I could pull the plug on the day job. I also vividly remember the first time I realized that I hadn’t driven anywhere in four days.

Wow, we’re saving the planet too.

Initially we were mostly doing work for other print shops that would sub out the letterpress portion of their work. We were relying solely on trade work from commercial printers.  Slowly a few discerning letterpress fans and brides sought me out and soon my retail presence was forming.

While the rest of the printing industry is transforming yet again from conventional offset to digital and beyond. The resurgence of letterpress printing as a true craft person’s printing process over the last decade or so has been a boon to us. And so it is in these economic times that we bring our offerings to the world wide web.

As with most dreams worth realizing, our talents and experience and determination aren’t enough to bring us to this point. It wouldn’t be possible without the love and support of family and friends and some truly wonderful customers.