A Visit to BlackHare Letterpress Studio


BlackHare Studio

BlackHare Studio 1

I went for a very exciting visit to BlackHare Studio last week for some lessons in letterpress. My goal was to produce some personal business cards. With the help of VGreen Design, I came out with hundreds of cards and a handful of one-of-a-kind monotype letterpress prints.

BlackHare Studio 2

An impressive collection of metal and wood type of all shapes and sizes

BlackHare Studio 3

A vast collection of wood furniture

The studio was located in a downtown strip and was fully equipped with several large letterpress units. I printed my business cards on a small, but effective table top press.

I blind debossed my logo into my cards first using custom photo polymer plates. I printed my cards three-up on a page to save time with printing.

Custom photopolymer plates

My custom photopolymer plates mounted on a form

I hand set all of the letters and numbers on my card…three times…using a modern sans serif typeface (Spartan).

SD Creative...hand set

Business card set type in a composing stick

Business card type set in a composing stick

Business card type in composing sticks

I printed the rest of my information with a blue-green ink.

Business cards being printed on the tabletop letter press

Business cards being printed on the tabletop letterpress

Business cards printed

The cards were then cut down to the standard 3.5″ x 2″ size using a large papercutter.



After my cards were finished, we printed a handful of letterpress monotypes using an old U.S. Feed sign and some brayers on one of the large Vandercook presses.

U.S. Feed



I then dove into BlackHare’s collection of orphan type drawers to create an original letterpress poster for Surfwaco.

Original Surfwaco letterpress poster


If you’re a fan of printmaking and graphic design, I suggest a visit to a letterpress shop. There are a lot of great ones across the country including, one of my favorites, The Firecracker Press in St. Louis, MO.


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