peterf's blog

We're very happy to announce that Slow Print and Typography for Lawyers have entered into a co-marketing agreement. The new "TFL Print Shop" ( will offer Matthew Butterick's typographic templates and Slow Print will provide typographic arrangement and letterpress imprinting.

This set of two woodtype improvisations, is printed in silver ink on Plike, the new sheet from Gruppo Cordenons.
The two designs are printed on the same sheet (8"x6.375"), but can be cut apart to make two 4" postcards.
(If I can find that perforating rule, I may perf them, but I don't know how well they would separate.)

These designs are printed directly with type from our original 19th century Wood Type collection, along with small icons and copperplate cuts. They are 'improvisations' made in the moment, and printed on stock off cut from other jobs.

Hi all!

I've got a number of type faces in need of fontisizing. (That is, extending the character set and wrangling all the OT tables to make it work in modern usage)
For instance, see the thumbnails at
CyberGothic and Quanta Uncial are two initial prospects.

These are my own designs, with origins going back to the 1990s, when Alphabets was still a functioning foundry.

I have another family or two in progress based on the type in a book in my library from the early 1500s. These will have plenty of cool OpenType subs and so forth.

Slow Print Letterpress announces "Zen of Business Cards" letterpress cards in black and white.
We've provided templates for convenience, or will accept client provided art in the same Zen spirit.

One popular option is to order these thrifty black and white cards and then get a couple of groovy iconic rubberstamps (like from our dear friend Leavenworth Jackson ) to customize the cards beyond your wildest dreams!

They're printed on the very lovely Strathmore Writing Cover (Soft White 110#)
One catch: we have to fill a press-sheet of 6 to 12 slots before making the film and plates and printing, so putting out the word to your friends and peeps will get you your own cards that much faster!

We're offering the last few prints of this one-off broadsheet, just in time for your Wood Type loving Valentine!
All proceeds support the Dubuque Book Arts Center at SlowPrint Letterpress!

Please see the Etsy listing

"Love is an endless mystery for it has nothing else to explain it."
quotation from "Fireflies" by Nobel Prize winning Indian Poet Rabindranath Tagore

2/0 letterpress business cards on Crane Lettra 600gsm (220#) Florescent White Cover

Design by Erik Brandt ( Minneapolis)
Printed at Slowprint Letterpress (

Die-cut round-cornered cards 2"x2" for J2 Online.
2/1 letterpress, Crane Lettra 600gsm (220#) Florescent White
Custom mixed colors.

Design by Brad Emmons ( Philadelphia)
Printed at SlowPrint Letterpress (

The original design was hand-set in foundry Optima and a funky Monotype Deepdene back in the late 1980s, and printed in a small run on the Universal I Vandercook.

I recently discovered the forms still standing in the galley. This new edition is printed on the 10x15 Heidelberg Windmill from photopolymer, made from new repro-proofs taken from the original type, and scanned at 2400 dpi. Minor artifacts from the proofing and scanning were cleaned up in Photoshop prior to making film and plates. However, the original design has not been altered, although it was awfully tempting to tweak the spacing once more before committing it to the press! ;-)

The photo was taken in a strong afternoon sunlight. Apologies for the excessive contrast. Need to find my copy-stand!

Designed by Sean Costik of Projekt.

Printed with metallic silver ink on Hahnemuhle German Etching Black 600gsm.
The Projekt logo was 'double-bumped', that is, I stripped the rest of the plate off the base and ran the cards through the press a second time. The Heidelberg's spot perfect registration allows for this kind of extra hit. Few other letterpress machines can match the Windmill!

I generally discourage trying to print on black, since most inks really can't cover and there's no brilliance to the resulting impression.

Hot off the press, cards for my consulting persona on Hahnemuhle's Copperplate+Bugra custom duplexed to make a 430gsm sheet.

This is the Bugra "Burgundy" color, and bright-white Copperplate etching paper.
The stock was dampened using a 16th century technique before printing from photopolymer plates on the 10x15 Heidelberg Windmill letterpress

The reverse side has been printed with two varnishes, tinted with bronze powder and silver... which only show up when the light is just right. The silvered varnish is used on the front, along with two 'normal' inks.

Impression depth is not quite as dramatic as it seems, but I had to use a hard side-light to be able to see the subtle varnish on the front of the card.

Fonts are Gill Sans with bold and italic. The Semiotx logo is from my own library, A*I Marlowe, a revival based on the Oxford Fell types, the forms here were altered by eye to make the lower-case weights match the caps (or was it visa versa?)

Sign up now for the next SlowPrint eNewsletter!

This edition includes our Letterpress Holiday Card Special Offer good through midnight Nov 21st 2009!

Get 100 two-color* A6 (4.5x6.25 inch) scored cards on Crane Lettra 300gam Pearl White or Strathmore Writing Wove Cover (ready for folding, 6x9 flat) from your digital art for as little as $325, black-only for as little as $175.

*Details: Letterpress Holiday Card Special Offer

Seems like we must be doing something right out here in the boonies. Accolades for the press have been received from all over, and we're particularly proud of the kind words of the fellow type lovers and bibliophiles among our clientele.

While we strive for modesty, we also recognize that economic survival requires a bit of banging on one's own drum from time to time. So in gratitude for the generosity of our clients and colleagues, we thought we'd share some of these...

"Peter runs the old press for contemporary clients. Beautiful work, a pleasure to work with."
Erik Van Blokland - Letterror, The Hague, The Netherlands

"Peter is an expert letterpress printer who does faultless, crisp, elegant work."
Mark Batty - Mark Batty Publishers, New York

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The sounds of letterpress

Got a nice write up in the Dubuque Telegraph Herald on Tuesday. An Equinox Present it was!

Even a little video if you've always wondered what a Heidelberg Windmill press sounds like ;-)


Peter Letterpress for Typographers!

peterf's picture

Four-color Letterpress cards for/by

Here's a new card designed by me, for me!
We've changed the trade-name of out website to "" so it's time to roll out a card to replace the "Exquisite Letterpress" design which has been in use for the past couple of years.

This design is printed in four colors, with extremely tight register.
I figured I should make a point of printing a tough job for my own cards, since I'm telling all you designers that we can handle whatever you through our way ;-)

Take a look at this new card, designed by Dimitri Scheblanov ( )

Printed on Rives BFK 260gsm fine art paper (Arches Mill, France) with duotone offset litho for the watercolor wash, type is letterpress from photopolymer plates on the Heidelberg Windmill 10x15 (Red ball ca 1960)

The design is just gorgeous. I was concerned about the tiny type, but I'm always amazed by the polymer and the Heidelberg Windmill!

There will always some minor variation through the print run, as I'm constantly tweaking the press (roller height, ink load) to make the best possible impression.

We've just released our latest (Ok, months overdue!) edition of SlowPrint: the nEwsletter!
Please scoot on over to and click on the 'sign-up' link!
This issue discusses the production of some recent work, updates to the SlowPrint Studio toy box, and gives a short opinion on the web fonts discussion (well, not like you haven't heard enough about that ;-)

Slow Print Studio (nee Exquisite Letterpress) is a typographic letterpress shop, dedicated to the finest possible impression of the typographic letter. We're completely digital, but also hand-tune every PDF* for perfect letterpress reproduction, adding stroke weight to glyphs, adjusting spacing of mouse-type, etc. *(in consultation with the designer of course!)

peterf's picture

Commercial Letterpress FAQ Update at

We've been updating the FAQ at
Would appreciate your feedback, typophiles!
Got better answers? Better questions?
Please take a look and let me know!


peterf's picture

New Letterpress Papers Sampler from

Announcing our new Paper Sampler...

This image shows the cover (before trim and score) which is printed in red and black on Hahnemühle's gorgeous Copperplate Etching 300gsm.

Using Adobe's Garamond Pro and Caslon Pro (ornaments) printed from photopolymer on the 10x15 Heidelberg Windmill.
The initial is from a book in our collection ( C. Tacitus Opera [Officina Plantiniana apud Ioannem Moretum, Antwerp 1607])

We're happy to offer this cover with some of our favorite papers and printed samples inside to designers with an interest in letterpress printed projects! There is modest charge to cover shipping and handling, as our resources are limited!

Exquisite Letterpress is happy to present "Almost Free" small card letterpress services.
Useful for business cards, tags, labels, etc, we work with your press ready PDF.

We've got a project estimator on our site at:

We're also very happy to work with designers, typographers, and consultants on any project requiring fine papers with a perfect impression.

Please visit us online, or if you're in the midwest, stop in at the studio in Dubuque's historic Millwork District, along the mighty Mississippi!

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