As I walked the rows of the National Stationery Show in May, I had the good fortune to visit the Ladies of Letterpress booth, featuring a stellar line up of designers, including Bremelo Press. I was immediately taken with Lynda Sherman’s designs. Classic letterpress, with black ink printed on luscious feeling white paper, with sentiments like “Analog is my happy place”. I was hooked! Lynda’s designs are unique, her sentiments are sweet, inspiring, funny and at times irreverent.
What attracted you to letterpress?
It was New York City in the mid ‘90s when I first stepped into a working letterpress print shop, Esther K Smith and Dikko Faust’s Purgatory Pie Press, and it was the first time I felt my feet hit the ground. The smell of the ink, the feel of the type and the paper, the sound and motion of the press, still brings me a sense of place and fulfillment.
Why is it important to you to keep the history and tradition of analog printing alive and well?
To know the history of analog printing is to keep the global continuum of collaboration and friendship uninterrupted. Analog is the gift of our past, and by practicing in the present, it is the promise to the future. Where we go, we go together. Analog doesn’t leave anyone behind.
You have a vintage collection of wood and metal typefaces – what appeals to you in a typeface? Is there a typeface you yearn to get your hands on?
Legibility and grace are what appeal to me in a typeface.
I can’t say there is one typeface I covet for my collection of vintage type. Type has a way of finding me if it needs to.
What inspires you?
People inspire me. People I know and people I am about to meet.
I love the sentiments on your cards – they are poetic, sweet, feminist and funny. Tell me a bit about your process from idea to finished card.
Inspiration often comes from a conversation or a shared experience.
One Christmas, I couldn’t get the garlands “right” on the tree. I texted my neighbor Doug that I was going to throw the tree out the window. He said he’d be up in 5. He arrived to see me almost in tears in front of a heap of garlands. I told him everything I did looked ugly. He gathered up the garlands and started throwing them at the tree. They all landed perfectly, and he said “I’m pretty sure this is all we have to do”. It jolted me out of my perfectionist funk and thought “now there’s a card”.
I chose a sturdy but not static serif, Caslon Oldsytle, because the phrase needed legs and feet and arms and hands to toss garlands, not just on trees, but anywhere one might be trapped by self criticism.
In addition to creating a line of stationery, you teach classes. What do you enjoy about teaching letterpress?
When I teach letterpress I get to meet really interesting people and have the opportunity to explore the materials in new ways.
Each person brings something unique to the press. It’s exciting to watch what happens.
You’re part of Ladies of Letterpress, an international trade organization for letterpress printers and print enthusiasts. Please tell me a bit more about the organization and its goals.
The Ladies of Letterpress is an organization founded in 2007 by two fabulous printers, Jessica C White and Ksenyia Thomas.
LOLP functions as an expanding network to connect printers and enthusiasts to each other and further the art and craft of letterpress
Being a part of LOLP has given me a greater creative life, both personally and professionally.
I encourage all who love ink on paper to check it out.