Thursday, June 21, 2018

|Podcast| Pressing On: The Letterpress Film - Andrew P. Quinn and Erin Beckloff

Photo Credit: Bayonet Media

Andrew has more than ten years of visual storytelling experience, creating content for national and regional clients. He appreciates film for the two-headed beast she is: part means of communication, part art form. Andrew's hobbies include working on vintage motorcycles and drawing pictures of ugly men. Andrew is also the co-owner of Bayonet Media, located in the heart of the midwest, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Erin Beckloff is a letterpress printer, filmmaker, and graphic design educator. Erin is an assistant professor of graphic design at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she revitalized the Curmudgeon Press type shop and developed letterpress courses. She has a BFA from Miami University and an MFA in Graphic Design from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She studied letterpress through practical application and the shared knowledge of master printers, including the talented folks at Hatch Show Print.

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Kevin is an Indianapolis-based producer with Michigan roots. He enjoys the challenge of bringing to life projects from the funding stage through production and distribution and often works alongside advertising agencies and national clients in his role as Bayonet Media’s Sr. Producer. He previously served as executive producer of the Emmy-winning documentary Seeing Stars in Indiana and has won several other Emmy and Addy awards for his work. Kevin enjoys the technology-distant sport of rock climbing and spending time outdoors among the mountains. If you want to talk about the iconically designed Eames Lounge Chair, Kevin is your guy.

After earning his master's degree in visual storytelling from Ball State University, Joe racked up some real world experience in L.A. on the sets of popular TV shows like Parenthood and Californication. With thirteen Emmy's under his belt, Joe believes visual content will prevail as our primary way of communicating in the future. Joe enjoys traveling and putting vintage camera lenses on modern cameras. Joe is also the co-owner of Bayonet Media, located in the heart of the midwest, Indianapolis, Indiana.

The modern world was born on a printing press. Once essential to communication, the 500-year-old process is now in danger of being lost as its caretakers age. From self-proclaimed basement hoarders to the famed Hatch Show Print, Pressing On: The Letterpress Film explores the question: why has letterpress survived in a digital age?

Worlds of each character emerge as unusual narratives—joyful, mournful, reflective and visionary—are punctuated with on-screen visual poetry, every shot meticulously composed. Captivating personalities blend with wood, metal and type as young printers strive to save this historic process in a film created for the designer, type nerd, historian and collector in us all.

Paul has been involved in letterpress since he took his first course as a freshman in high school in 1956. After high school he worked in a composing room at a local print shop in Milwaukee for a couple of years. He then attended Stout in Wisconsin where he earned a bachelor's and master's degrees in Industrial and Vocational Education with an emphasis in printing. Paul worked in the school print shop at Stout and also at a weekly newspaper. He taught Printing at the high school level in Northern Illinois for 28 years, starting with letterpress and hot metal and ending in computers and offset. His dream was always to open a Letterpress museum and he has achieved that dream. He used to tell people that he was a printer who collected letterpress type and equipment. Now Paul tells them he is a collector who prints. The museum is 4,000 square feet jammed with letterpress stuff. He now specializes in tabletop presses.

Celene Aubry is the Manager at Hatch Show Print, one of America's oldest surviving letterpress show poster and design shops. In addition to overseeing the staff and operation of a vibrant 136 year old letterpress print shop, Celene is also guiding the development of additional Hatch Show Print programs and activities that leverage a classroom and gallery—two spaces that are still relatively new to the shop—while still carrying on the shop’s tradition of preservation through production, making posters for the customers whenever time allows. And, when the day’s work is done, Celene enjoys pursuing her quest to bring together the two outmoded processes of letterpress printmaking and hand-printed photographs.

Associate Professor of Graphic Design, School of Art + Design, Indiana University Bloomington

The clanking of a hand-fed C&P in a “mom and pop” print shop was the sound that got the attention of Jim Daggs in 1968, and began his apprenticeship under a patient old master letterpress printer in his hometown of Eldora, Iowa. The letterpress shop handset all of their type, so, learning the California case came with it. Soon young Daggs paid $25 for am 8x12 C&P and several cabinets of type from a nearby newspaper shop, and started a small printing business in the basement of his father’s store. At 14, he continued his apprenticeship at his hometown newspaper plant, learning the Linotype, Ludlow, stereotyping, and other printing work in that all-letterpress shop, until he graduated from high school in 1974. A year later, he joined letterpress equipment dealer and newspaper publisher Chuck Dunham of Deep River, Iowa in a joint venture publishing the Ackley (IA) newspaper, which they converted back to letterpress production. Jim bought out his partner in 1983, and expanded the commercial printing portion. A major expansion was done in 1999 to expand the letterpress and hot metal “holdings” another 5400 square feet. Jim’s passion, occupation and enjoyment is metal typesetting and letterpress, and he shares his experience and facilities to assist with the Art/Graph program at Iowa State University.


Since 1999, Jennifer Farrell has operated Starshaped Press in Chicago, focusing on printing everything from business cards and social stationery to music packaging and posters, as well as custom commissions and wholesale cards and prints. All work in the studio is done with metal and wood type, making Starshaped one of the few presses in the country producing commercial work while preserving antique type and related print materials. Jennifer’s work has been repeatedly recognized both in print and design blogs, and has appeared in poster shows throughout the USA and Europe. Work can be viewed at

In 1976 Rick von Holdt traded a gumball machine for a 5"x8" Kelsey press and five cases of type. He soon acquired a proof press and started seeking more type, getting most of his early fonts from typography shops in San Francisco who were getting rid of handset type because phototype had taken over. He originally wondered if he would be lucky enough to fill one cabinet with type. He named his press The Foolproof Press because of his beginnings as a fool with a proof press. He has been printing pretty much as a hobby-only for almost forty years and in that time has managed to accumulate over 2,000 fonts of handset type for his shop. He has also acquired a decent number of presses but still prefers to hand-ink and print on a Poco proof press. He serves as a director at Printers' Hall in Mt. Pleasant, IA and is on the faculty of the Des Moines Art Center, teaching a class in letterpress poster printing once or twice each summer.

Rich Hopkins did his first experiments in casting type in 1953—he was 14 years old. Using a ladle and the open flame of the family’s gas water heater, he melted old type and tried to form new letters. He acquired his first Monotype in 1970 and has steadily added to his collection since that time. In 1978 he called a meeting of fellow typecasting enthusiasts and that evolved into the American Typecasting Fellowship. Rich has written and published the ATF Newsletter since that time.

Rich has conducted “Monotype University” to train newbies in the craft, with over 30 graduates. He has written two notable books on the craft: History of the American Point System of Type Measurement, and Tolbert Lanston and the Monotype: The Origin of Digital Typesetting. Both volumes are still in print.

Jim Moran is Museum Director at Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. He runs letterpress workshops, archives the collection and maintains the museum on a daily basis. Previously he had volunteered at Hamilton and donated presses and equipment from his Green Bay, Wisconsin, printing firm, Moran’s Quality Print Shop, where he worked as apprentice, pressman, partner and owner with his father and grandfather for over 35 years.

Stephanie Carpenter is a letterpress printer, educator, and graphic designer. She is the Assistant Director at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. At the museum she teaches workshops, gives tours, and helps catalog one of the world’s largest collections of wood type. Her evenings are spent creating personal art in the form of posters, installations, and artists' books. Stephanie enjoys the tactile nature of letterpress printing, creating her work using wood and metal type, hand-carved blocks, and found imagery. She finds that the physical process of planning the work, setting the type, and printing the piece is just as important as the finished print. She received a BA in Communication Arts and Graphic Design from the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, IN, and an MFA in Graphic Design from Indiana University, Bloomington. She currently teaches graphic design courses at Silver Lake College in Manitowoc,NWisconsin

Scott Moore is a retired Industrial Arts teacher and now continues the tradition of cutting end grain hard maple wood type by the historic pantograph method. Scott has built two pantographs by modifying small engraving machine into a wood type cutting machines. To provide lots of type high, end grain maple slabs, Scott also designed and built a very accurate Type High Surfacing Machine. MWT owns a historic Hacker Block Leveler to speed up the type high maple production process. Scott’s company, Moore Wood Type, is located in central Ohio and for the past five years he has been making and selling historic based ornaments, catchwords, and replacement letters to letterpress printers around the world. The company has just purchased it’s own 90 watt professional laser which is also used to make new wood type. His philosophy is that every printer deserves to have some special “printers candy” wood type to use on their own projects.

Dave Peat is a collector. As a lifelong rail fan, his collections range from model railroads to owning a Singer no. 1 locomotive; spark plugs; antique telephone equipment; fireworks and a 1927 Model T Truck. While taking printing in grade school shop class, he discovered his first specimen book, an 1878 Allison & Smith Franklin Type Foundry in Cincinnati, which initiated his fascination with ornate Victorian type. Acquired his first press in 1960, a 7x11 Pearl and six fonts, thought that would be plenty, but now has close to 4,000 fonts of almost all 19th century type. Printed membership cards, letterhead, newsletters, and posters for organizations and non-profits including the Indiana Transport Museum. Joined the APA in 1961 and printed his first calendar. This year he just completed the 50th calendar (2017). His letterpress collecting has been by perseverance, he canvased printers in his travels. He was the first person in 1960 at Al Franks in Chicago interested in antiques, a euphoric experience. Had several inheritance of collections and gotten some type from all over the world. Dave has been described as the Godfather of Letterpress and generously shares his knowledge and collection with the letterpress community.
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