In a world that gets more technologically focused by the day, it’s refreshing to learn about others who are going back to their industrial roots. Brian Wood, owner of Dogs and Stars Letterpress and Design, in Lafayette Colorado, has always had a love for the designs of yesterday; old muscle cars, rusting signage, and vinyl. And what designer with a love for type and all things built-to-last wouldn’t also have a collection of vintage typewriters still in use?
“Too bad emails and texts have taken over as our go-to media for communicating. ‘Cause I could type some mean letters on them.”
5 years ago, Brian turned his old-timey tendencies toward another fading art, letterpress printing. His collection started with a Showcard Proof Press.
“This press, while somewhat heavy, basically sits on a table (or any flat surface) and is great for learning to set type and other letterpress fundamentals. It’s the acoustic guitar before you get the flying “v.” It’s somewhat portable and now I mostly use it to take to workshops and live print demos. I printed like a mofo on this press for more than a year before I got my ‘real’ press.”
The ‘real’ press is a Golding Jobber No. 7 and it’s a beauty. It’s his main press, at the moment, and the one used for his stunning commercial work. It sits, regally, next to the latest addition to this letterpress outfit, the “prince of presses”, the Original Heidelberg Windmill. This 2,300 pound machine had just been delivered the day before my visit to Dogs and Stars. Apparently the delivery was a precarious operation, but it found it’s home unscathed in Brian and Kim Wood’s renovated garage studio.
Brian joked that he’d be nose deep in the press’s original manual as soon as our visit and tour was over. He’s determined to use this workhorse to it’s fullest potential; die-cutting, embossing, scoring, stamping, perforating, and printing his way into the future.