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Meet Our Makers: Letterpress Printing

When it comes to all things letterpress, Leah Jachimowicz’s excitement is contagious! Jachimowicz is an active member of the art community of San Francisco and the proud owner of the adorable greeting card shop Coffee n Cream Press. She studied the art of printmaking in college and has now turned her devotion for art into a career.


Jachimowicz’s passion, excitement, and eagerness to share this love of hers are shown in every step of her Letterpress Printing Workshop. She has tailored this experience of hers to highlight the history and creativity that have shaped this artform into its current state.



Learn the History of Letterpress

To truly understand something, you need to know its history. Jachimowicz begins her workshop by sharing the unique and interesting origins of letterpress making and the progression it has made through the years. Did you know that letterpress printing actually began in the 1440’s? At that time, it required printmakers to layout each individual letter or symbol to create words, sentences, and paragraphs. Talk about a lot of precision! Today, printmakers have it a lot easier. In fact, most prints are made by sending a custom design to a company that will create photopolymer plates for them to use. Although the days of lining prints up letter by letter have come to a close, artists now spend that time creating unique designs and experimenting with new techniques and ideas.



Select Your Design

After learning about the rich history of letterpress printing, Jachimowicz shares her wide selection of designs with you. When it comes to designing your card, the sky really is the limit. You can use just one photopolymer plate, or even pair a couple to create something brand new. In fact, our group chose the eclectic pairing of a raccoon and a palm tree. (Don’t ask us why we still aren’t fully sure ourselves.)



Select and Mix Your Color

The next step of creating your card is selecting the perfect color for your design. You may have thought there were only 7 colors in the rainbow, but the options here are limitless. From neon to neutrals, Jachimowicz will lay out your color palette options.


Once you’ve finally decided which color to go with, it’s time to get messy! Each color swatch comes with a “recipe” of how to blend to its specific shade. Jachimowicz will guide you through how she mixes and checks to get the perfect color match. Our eyes were mesmerized with the blending colors as she worked her magic.



Add Color to the Rollers

After you’ve mixed your color to perfection, it’s time to add the color to the machine. The ink is added to the large rollers found on the letterpress. This is done by engaging the rollers and allowing the ink to evenly coat each. Watching these bright, metallic pieces spinning with the added pigment, is mesmerizing, to say the least.



Running Your Card Through

It’s finally time to transfer your print onto your card. Jachimowicz will walk you through step by step how to place your photopolymer plate, where to line up your card, how to crank the card through and reset the machine for the next creation. Although the machine is large and a little bit intimidating, Jachimowicz makes it easy for anyone to learn the ropes with ease.



Folding Your Card

Once you have your beautiful creations, you can’t forget the final steps! Learn from Jachimowicz how to create the perfect crease using a bone fold. We never thought we would get a perfectly lined up fold, but with her help, we each found quick success.



There’s nothing more exciting than listening to another share their true love and passion. Jachimowicz’s experience does just that and allows you to get your own creative juices flowing. Schedule your own Letterpress Printing Workshop today, and learn the tips and tricks of an art form that has spanned almost half of a century.


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