Slow Print Studio (nee Exquisite Letterpress) has printing facilities in the old Warehouse District in Dubuque, Iowa, and design studios across the Mississippi River in Galena, Illinois.
Founder, type director and printer Peter Fraterdeus has been working with letterpress since 7th grade at Nichols Junior High School in Evanston, Illinois. "Print Shop" teacher Mr. Huebner would surely never have imagined that forty years later, Peter would be inking up these old Chandler and Price platen presses to produce not just "business cards" but exquisite typography.
It's funny how the cycle continues, since in the intervening years, letterpress had been left for dead many times.
In fact, these presses had been nearly dead themselves until earlier in 2007 when they were raised from the edge of oblivion, rusted and molding after over a decade in storage and disuse. With much scraping, wire-brushing, polishing, Evapo-Rust and LOVE, they are now better than ever, and joined by 'new' equipment, including our Interflex Photopolymer Platemaker and the Heidelberg Original "Windmill" 10x15 platen press.
Peter thinks that now that everyone and their Sister has a printer capable of producing "type" (in the 80s we called it 'wysiwyg' and 'desktop publishing'), the Spirit of Real Printing has risen again to demonstrate for all time that while laser and ink-jet may be good for something, they will simply never compete with a real PRESS -- don't call it a "printer" -- a PRINTER is the one using the PRESS!
The presses have moved twice since these photos were taken, and we're now just across the street in a lovely space with arched windows looking out at the ivy covered brick of our former warehouse location. The new venue has plenty of room for our two Windmills, two C&Ps, one Miehle V36, and the good old Vandercook 219. We've even added a conference area and lounge!
There is never enough room, of course, but for now, things are comfortable!