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Brady Vest

Justin Watkins

March 2015

Brady started Hammerpress 20 years ago with a single press. Today the nationally-recognized letterpress shop includes hand-crafted retail space and a studio of designers and press operators.

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What benefits come from the constraints found in letterpress?

There is a lot to be said from working with limitations. Whether you are working with handset type, which we do, or even digital designs that are made into printing plates, which we also do, there are always going to be limitations to what the physical materials and the machines allow. We’re always floating in back and forth between working within those limitations and trying to push them.

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The way you print, the enjoyment of the final product, it’s all very tactile. Do you see newer technology rivaling that feeling anytime soon?

I don’t think I do. You can always tell when something has been faked, or if someone is attempting to simulate the process. It’s odd, sometimes you will see a piece that has been offset printed and then run through another time to emboss the type. It always seems like it would be much easier just to do it with letterpress printing.
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Where have you been focusing your attention lately?

Personally, since last summer my main focus was on getting our new space laid out and ready to move. As for the studio in general, our main focus is on continuing to build our wholesale line. We are currently finalizing our next release for 2015/2016 with almost 40 new designs that will be available across the country and overseas.

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What changes do you foresee in your next 20 years of business?

Twenty years is a little far out for me to look at, but our 5 year goals are to continue to build our wholesale line and expand that into more wedding invitations, and to just continue to be able to do what we enjoy doing – designing and printing things we love.

What is your latest epiphany?

I’m not sure if it’s an epiphany or not, but those people who say “if you do what you love, you never have to work a day in your life” – that’s ridiculous.

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