We’ve written about the considerable charms of letterpress recently, but we’ve hardly exhausted the field. Witness Smock, a letterpress outfit whose workshop boasts 20 antique presses, 50 tons of equipment and 17 employees, and occupies a former John Deere Factory in post-indusrial Syracuse, New York. Their mission statement is ridiculously appealing and worth quoting at length. Here’s a snippet:
Who are we? We are faithful lovers of historic craft. We have letterpress ink in our veins. We are idealists. This means we believe in things. We are trying to make the world better right now. This affects everything we do. We read Walt Whitman (he was a letterpress printer too, by the way) (Stuff’d with the stuff that is coarse and stuff’d with the stuff that is fine). We fall head over heels for heavy cast iron presses. We believe in the creation of beautiful things. And we want, like you, to feel good about where our beautiful things come from.
Kinda makes you want to quit your job and move to Syracuse to dirty your fingers with some of that ink, doesn’t it? Not to mention Smock’s designs, which are amazing. A mixture of whimsy and sheer delicate loveliness, they include things like beetles and reindeer and ducklings and vintage tennis rackets and rocketships, all printed on bamboo paper in the most carefully-chosen hues. We are in love!