About the Letterpress Studio

The letterpress studio features a number of different kinds of vintage presses for printing our metal and wood type. We also have a photopolymer platemaker for creating relief plates from computer files. Let us help you select the press and type best suited for your project. You’ll find a wide variety of wood and metal type available, including alphabets for Cyrillic, Cherokee, Hebrew, Greek, Arabic and accented type for French, Spanish and German. We even have math type!

Some of our cases of type are more full than others, so it's a good idea to come in and have a look before you get too far along in your design.

view of Letterpress Studio's type cabinets and presses

Vandercook Sp20 Cylnder Proof Press

Students printing on Vandercook press

Used for printing on flexible paper (not board) with precise registration for complex printing like multiple colors or passes through the press, finely detailed relief images. Allows for clean single color printing or painterly hand-inking

  • Letterpress printing with wood/metal type, and relief printing from wood/linoleum blocks and polymer plates
  • Make/age/where made: Vandercook Sp20—made in Illinois in the 1960s
  • Size: Prints sheets of paper up to 18 x 24 inches (not great for smaller than 5x7 inches
  • Learn more about the Vandercook Press.

Vandercook Sp15 Cylinder Proof Press

Used for printing on flexible paper (not board) with precise registration for complex printing like multiple colors or passes through the press, finely detailed relief images. Allows for clean single color printing or painterly hand-inking

  • Letterpress printing with wood/metal type, and relief printing from wood/linoleum blocks and polymer plates
  • Make/age/where made: Vandercook Sp15, made in Illinois in the 1960s
  • Size: Prints sheets of paper up to 14 x 18 inches (not great for smaller than 5x7 inches
  • Learn more about the Vandercook Press
student working on Vandercook press

Improved Pearl #11 Platen Press

Improved Pearl #11 Platen Press

Used for printing many copies quickly (once set up) on small paper or stiff board like coasters.

  • Letterpress printing with wood/metal type, and relief printing from wood/linoleum blocks and polymer plates
  • Die Cutting
  • Make/age/where made: Golding, made in Boston 1880s
  • Size: platen is 7 x 11 inches; prints slightly smaller than 7 x 11 inch paper
  • Learn more about Golding Press by Perennial Designs.

Table Top Platen Presses

We have six different examples of these platen presses which are used for printing on small paper or stiff board like coasters.

  • Letterpress printing with wood/metal type, and relief printing from wood/linoleum blocks and polymer plates
  • Learn more about table top platens with Letterpress Commons.
  1. Golding Official No. 12 Map Press, made in Boston 1880s
    Size: 8.25 x 12.5 inches
    Also used to print legends or other material on a large sheet of paper
  2. Craftsman Superior (called the Pilot press in the studio), made in Canada 1960s
    Size: 6.5 x 10 inches
  3. Craftsman Monarch, made in Canada 1960s
    Size: 9 x 12 inches
  4. Kelsey Excelsior Model C, made in Merriden, CT 1960s
    Size: 6 x 10 inches
  5. Kelsey Excelsior Model A, made in Merriden, CT 1960s
    Size: 3 x 5 inches
  6. Unknown Tiny Orange Press
    Size: 2 x 4 inches
Two tiny platen presses

Washington Iron Hand Press

Washington iron hand press

Used for printing on paper or sometimes smooth cloth or plastic. Allows for straight single color printing or painterly hand-inking

  • Letterpress printing with wood/metal type, and relief printing from wood/linoleum blocks and polymer plates
  • Make/age/where made: Washington, Made in NYC in the second half of the 19th century
  • Size: Prints paper up to 20 x 26
  • Learn more about the Iron Hand Presses with the Print Museum and Letterpress Commons

Albion Iron Hand Press

Used for proofing type and blocks before printing the final edition, letterpress printing with wood/metal type, and relief printing from wood/linoleum blocks and polymer plates on paper or stiff cardboard (not too thick). Sometimes used with smooth cloth or plastic.

  • Make/age/where made: H.W. Caslon, Made in London in the early 20th century
  • Size: Prints paper up to 20 x 26
  • Learn more about Iron Hand Presses with the Print Museum
Albion hand press

Photopolymer Platemaker

photopolymer platemaker

Used for making relief polymer plates from images scanned or created digitally that are to be printed with letterpress

  • Make/age/where made: WSL/Boxcar Press in 2015
  • Size: makes 10 x 13 inch plates