March 10, 2014
By Mai Hoang / Yakima Herald-Republic
UNION GAP, Wash. — You don’t go to Paper Hammer’s Tieton studio for printing if you need speed and convenience.
Each of the four studio’s letterpresses, which all date back to the first half of the 20th century, can print no more than about 400 sheets an hour.
That’s about a third of the output for many average modern offset printers, said Jerry Marr, who runs the presses.
Marr also has to set metal type, letter-by-letter, by hand.
“It’s time-consuming,” he said.
Still, there’s a strong demand for the studio’s cards, signs and other products, which are sold at Paper Hammer’s store in Seattle and online.
Images are “stamped in the paper, so you can feel the paper and feel the impression of the type on the paper,” said Marr, 74. “There’s something about (letterpress) that appeals to people.”
“I believe printers and consumers are beginning
to appreciate the beauty and individuality that comes
from printing from antique wood and metal type,”
Jenny Wilkson, co-founder of Letterpress Commons
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