I don’t have a tree, so I’m putting this at the top of my feed. Merry Christmas, y’all!
The Beauty of the Interwebs
15 months ago I was overwhelmed by the thought of setting up a simple 2-color registration and barely knew how to change the tympan sheets, let alone what to put under them. Running any color besides what we had stocked was an instant headache due to any number of times that I had gone through multiple cleanups just to match one color. Paper was all the same to me - Crane’s, French, Mohawk and Neenah were just names on a job ticket - and trimming any job, on any paper, was an anxiety attack of epic proportions.
15 months ago, this blog was merely an easy way to keep family and friends updated on my adventures in Salt Lake City at The Mandate Press.
Now I receive messages asking how to best set up files to film and plate certain layouts, why I have the opinions I do about papers, and my current favorite - questions about the Frontex Automatic that you’ve all seen me post photos of. A week or so ago, I got an email from a shop in the UK asking about the Frontex. They are in the process of acquiring one of their own and their search for its missing manual led them to my blog.
Though scanning an old manual is a simple request, I am thrilled to become a “resource” - at any level. It’s this community aspect of the letterpress world that keeps me excited and I can’t thank you all enough for your interest, enthusiasm and support. I only hope you stick around to read the next chapter as it’s written.
Lo and behold @themandatepress… #themandatepress #fpo #letterpress (Taken with instagram)
I haaven’t done two things in quite some time:
1. caught up on my internet time (email, this blog, etc…)
2. as you could assume from number 1 - I haven’t cruised FPO much lately either
That being said, it was pretty awesome to jump over to FPO real quick and find that the most recent post is of business cards that we printed for Carbure. Granted, they’re included on FPO due to their design but something that I’ve enjoyed realizing is that the best design can’t stand on its own without good printing so here’s a little pat on the back for the crew at The Mandate Press.
During our Type-Truck workshop at The Mandate Press, I finally sold a couple of my prints! They’re my “vow to the East Coast” as I’ve been putting it. The quote along the bottom says “Till death do us part”.
Not a bad way to make some cash on the side, if I do say so myself.
Heidelberg S Cylinder
I haven’t been at the shop for a full year yet and I’m already on all of the presses! Granted, I still have loads to learn about all of the automatic presses - especially the cylinders - but with the time I have spent on the Heidelberg S over the past week or so, I’ve officially gotten my hands dirty (quite literally) with each of the presses at the shop.
The next biggest hurdle? Getting each of the ink fountains dialed.
Look who joined the 21st century!
Follow my instagram (@gdgraves) for a daily dose of letterpressing goodness. Of course the occasional design and general life shot will be unavoidable but I’m attempting to keep my account focused on the shop for the most part.
If you’re in or even slightly near 1077 S. Main, Salt Lake City next Monday, come on down to the shop and meet Kyle Durrie of Power and Light Press. She has been traveling the country in a bread truck that has been retro-fitted as a mobile print shop. Moveable Type… quite literally.
When I first discovered Kyle’s Kickstarter account, I was still in Midcoast Maine and was hoping she would visit my neck of the woods. She did visit the area but I was already in SLC by that point so I’m stoked that she’ll be stopping at Mandate next week.
Come on down and talk shop while we all workshop.
Third one down.
Less than a year ago, I was still working at a food ingredients plant wearing steel-toed boots, ear-plugs, safety-glasses, hair and beard nets, and a hard hat, while driving a fork-lift on alternating weeks of day and then night shifts. I was applying and interviewing for advertising or in-house design jobs in the Southern Maine, Coastal New Hampshire, and Greater Boston areas… basically anything relevant to my BFA in Visual Communications/Graphic Design. My long-term sights were set on eventually finding my way into the world of letterpress but - like I said - that was long-term and I hadn’t the slightest idea how to get my foot in the door. I was drooling over the work coming out of shops like The Mandate Press, Studio on Fire, Mama’s Sauce, Cranky Pressman… you get the picture. I had an arguably unhealthy dose of admiration and respect for these shops (and still do) but never imagined I would find myself in the midst of that world and certainly not so soon. Fast forward less than a year: I’m printing full-time at The Mandate Press and Studio on Fire just started following theGraveyard. It looks like my foot is in the door. Now, where do I go from here?
- First, I thank Mandate - again - for the investment made in my training/education.
- Second, I thank Studio on Fire for the follow and for the rekindling of the fire under me arse to legitimize this blog; to mold it into something a little less self-serving and a little more you-serving.
- Third, I remind myself to stay focused in my efforts to become more adept in the pressroom.
- Fourth/Last, but absolutely not least, I thank those of you that have been behind me before I even knew this adventure was beginning. Thanks for your support and please chime in with your feedback. The road ahead is not a short one but it’s looking pretty exciting these days.