Letterpress printing is a technique of relief printing. This means that a raised surface is inked and pressed into a sheet of paper. This raised surface can be metal type, wood type, a photopolymer plate or a carved linoleum block. Letterpress work is crisper than offset work because of its impression into the paper, giving greater visual definition to the type and artwork.
Our journey began on first date back in 2010 when Mike and Shaun discovered that they both shared a love for letterpress printing. A long and excited conversation on the history of graphic design and relief printing was followed shortly by cohabitation. A year later we bought our first press, an Adana 8×5. This year, after years of saving and searching, we secured a 1949 Vandercook 3 proofing press for larger pieces.
Chief Press Operator
Shaun’s print experience dates back to his teenage years, when he would work summers doing paste ups at the infamous and now defunct Punks with Presses.
Prior to SF Letterpress, Shaun was responsible for online graphic communication for progressive non-profits like Equality California and St. Anthony’s. While he still spends more time than he’d like in front of a computer, he greatly prefers putting ink on paper.
Vice President of Strategic Prettiness
Mike has worked for several branding firms and advertising agencies and currently spends the majority of his time at a local hardware startup.
A native of Honolulu, Mike enjoys eating spam and putting small umbrellas in everything he drinks. His favorite Pantone Color is 3405.
After years of being tramp printers, working on friends’ presses throughout the Bay Area, we have finally found a permanent home in Oakland’s Jack London Square.
We realize the irony in a shop called “SF Letterpress” being located in Oakland … But have you looked at commercial space in the city of San Francisco lately? Yikes. While we love living in San Francisco, we don’t mind the reverse commute and are grateful to spend some much time in two amazing cities.