Letterpress Special Interest Group (SIG)

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SIG Information
SIG Name Letterpress
SIG Slogan
SIG Coordinator(s) Ashley Prescott Lesser
SIG E-mail
SIG Color
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The Letterpress SIG is dedicated to exploring the art of letterpress printing. This SIG is open to relief printers of all stripes.


Proprietor: User:Ashe

Related Equipment

A Line-O-Scribe showcard writer (small cylinder press) is on loan to the space from Ashley Lesser. It lives on a cart in the Large Project Storage area with related equipment and supplies. For training, contact Ashley Lesser or one of the authorized users.


Because she loves games and puns, Ashley has decided to call her press "Insert Quoin." Registration in the International Registry of Private Press Names is pending.

Mission Statement:

An experimental, teaching studio encouraging ‘free play’ with letterpress and giving the art an ‘extra life,’ housed within i3Detroit, a non-profit makerspace in Ferndale, Michigan. Currently, I have an antique Line-O-Scribe sign press, but hope to expand. The broad array of tools available at the space encourages experimentation, from printing on handcrafted paper to fabricating wood type on a laser cutter. My goal is to share the joy of letterpress with the community through art and ephemera.

Why have a press at i3Detroit?

  • We DIY everything here. Why not our own event posters? thank you notes? business cards?
  • The press complements other equipment in the space. We can make custom wood and metal type in the shop, then print with it!
  • While there are existing community presses, open shop hours are limited for those of us with day jobs, or a penchant for experimentation.
  • If you haven't tried printing, it's a lot like the vinyl cutter: very satisfying, with low barriers to entry. Before you know it, posters and prints will be cropping up all over!

Action Items

Shopping List:

  • Drying rack (joint purchase with Craft Zone)
  • Professional-grade guillotine-style paper cutter
  • Additional brayer
  • Tool for opening stubborn ink cans
  • Purchase additional paper (dark colors, blues)

Setup Tasks:

  • Order another French Paper sample book
  • Set up price list for consumables
  • Procedure for disposal of solvent rags - who empties bin?
  • Start maintaining a scrapbook/portfolio of work created using the press
  • Write a HOWTO on carving linoleum blocks with laser assist
  • Clean dried ink off old type
  • (perennial) Blog post about the press

Event Ideas:

  • Watch Pressing On (Ashley kickstarted a copy)
  • Plan more classes
    • Train the Trainer
    • Print i3Detroit ephemera (coasters, thank you cards, etc.)
    • Valentine cards
    • Spring coasters for cookouts
    • Mid-October linocut sugar skull prints?
    • Christmas cards
  • Take field trips to existing letterpress shops and/or wayzgeese
    • completed: Signal-Return Type-Oh-Rama Fundraiser 9/19/14 -- attended, had fun, learned a bit, plan to return



Local Presses

Online Resources