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(Letter) Press ARTICLE JANINE FRANK | PHOTOGRAPHY COLLEEN KELLY

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n an age of burgeoning automation and ever-expanding technology, Brian Wood is taking a step back. Waaaaaay back. Wood is the owner of Dogs & Stars, a fully functional letterpress studio in East Boulder County. What began as a casual curiosity has evolved into a year-round enterprise for this self-proclaimed “type junkie.” This largely defunct process has recently re-emerged as one of many anachronisms experiencing a resurgence of interest as people crave handcrafted simplicity over speed and uniformity. It's the new era of the bygone era. The contemporary letterpress scene fits that bill in spades. It offers a unique, unpolished charm that can't be found in online font libraries. It possesses natural imperfections that don't translate to ink jet printers or digital desktops. It's funky, it's finicky and that's its hallmark. “At its best, it's going to have kind of a rustic look to it,” Wood says, pointing to a poster 78

Boulder Lifestyle | November 2015

in which each individual letter displays unique wood grains and splotchy pock marks. “I love this look. I like things that are sort of distressed and deconstructed and imperfect.” Letterpress printing originated in the 1400s, hat tip to Johannes Gutenburg, and was the predominant form of printing for about 500 years. While it's a much slower process than its modern counterparts, its artisinal rebirth can be attributed to its handmade, vintage look and one-of-a-kind craftsman qualities. “It's important to keep this kind of thing “It's important to keep this kind of thing around,” Wood says. “We're getting more attached to digital devices and sitting down around,” Wood says. “We're getting more all day and just staring at a screen. This is still hands-on, it'sto interactive and tangible. attached digital devices and sitting down It's an important piece of history.” all day and just staring at a screen. This is still hands-on, it's interactive and tangible. It's an important piece of history.”

Boulder November 2015  

November 2015 Issue of Boulder Lifestyle