GORDON FRANKLIN OLDSTYLE
This one day in August 2014 my dad and I got in the truck and adventured 884 miles round trip to this tiny town in Oregon in search of a letterpress from 1872. There was this one in a basement of a farm house, it hadn’t moved in 30 years and it was coated in rust. After a journey from Colorado to Oregon in the 80’s it didn’t see much action. We tackled the task of loading 1,200 lbs of cast iron onto a trailer and bringing it home, which was a ridiculous feat. Despite age, deteriorated rollers and not a drop of oil, it ran with the same grace I imagine it had 100 years ago.
After 36+ hours of power-sanding rust, painting every surface and reassembling, this Oldstyle jobber was ready to get back to work. Though we would have preferred to not paint or alter the press, it was absolutely necessary to remove the smell of mildew and rust. We did our best to keep it authentic, even mimicking the hand-painted gold accents of vintage platen presses.
The press now resides in my small home studio, surrounded by lead type, fresh Van Son ink and and endless stack of projects.
It is well loved.
Coming from a graphic design background, I have taken my love for design to a new level and embraced specialty paper goods. After restoring my Gordon Franklin letterpress, I've worked endlessly to learn the craft and how to create beautiful work. The art of letterpress has opened up a world to me that I had only dreamed of. There’s just something about hands on work using a vintage machine and messy ink.
My style is easy, I like things simple, straight forward and generally a little silly because I don't take anything seriously. I believe that print is not dead, the handwritten card is more special than ever. I get giddy about paper and making beautiful things for wonderful clients.