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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Pike St Press, Seattle

I'm just back from holiday and once again I came upon a small letterpress printers, this time in Seattle.  It is called the Pike Street Press – I seem to find these little letterpress operations where ever I go. This one was quite new and provides a mix of letterpress and screen printing. Pike Street Press didn't have any type setting capability although when I spoke to the printer he did say that he'd like to be able to do so.  Unfortunately of course providing that sort of service requires access to a wide range of type faces in different sizes, weights and styles - a significant capital outlay.

The letter-press workhorse at Pike Street Press was one of the ubiquitous Original Heidelberg presses. It's a testament to sound design, robust construction and the shear number made that so many of these presses are still in daily use. There was also a Peerless Clamshell platen- equivalent of Smail's Arab -    which had originally been treadle driven.  The treadle had been removed and the press converted to electric power.   Sean Brown the printer did say that he hoped to get it working again although I'm not sure about a powered press where the paper is inserted and removed by hand.

Like Smail's Pike Street Press had a range of cards and other printed material for sale.  Two of their postcards are shown here and I sent a third one to Smail's whilst on holiday.  That one seemed to be a mix of letterpress and screen printing with a screen print of the Seattle skyline overprinted with Seattle.  Typical of modern letterpress all the printing was embossed producing a very tactile result. They were of course delighted to undertake bespoke work and had produced a rather nice tri-fold map of Pike Place Market.

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