Preserving the Tradition of Letterpress Printing

Letterpress printing is both an art and a craft to be preserved for those who treasure the written word and favor the uniqueness of objects produced by hand.

The Stow family of Half Moon Bay, Calif. has practiced this art for more than 25 years at their local gift and card shop The Paper Crane. Doug Stow and his son, Robert, produce custom-designed posters, cards, booklets, and invitations. One of their specialties is printing poems in broadside form. (A broadside is material printed on one side of a single sheet of paper). The elder Stow has been printing broadsides of poems read at Half Moon Bay café M Coffee throughout the years.

Recent projects include a broadside of a poem by poet and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, as well as a booklet of baseball haikus printed midway through the San Francisco Giants’ 2010 World Series season.

I produced (camera, interview, video editing) this video — along with an accompanying print article — for Half Moon Bay Patch.

Preserving the Tradition of Letterpress Printing from kristine a. wong on Vimeo.