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Long-Distance Letterpress: Printing, By Gum!

with Jessica Spring
Saturday, April 20, 2024 , 10:00 am Saturday, June 1, 2024 , 12:00 pm PDT


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Why you should take this class

Strive for letterpress perf-ection by joining the stampede in this two-part Long-Distance Letterpress workshop with Jessica Spring! At such a small scale, artist stamps present an excellent challenge for typographic composition in miniature. Grab your magnifying loupes, hone your hand typesetting skills, and receive some very cool artist stamps in the mail at the end of it all. 

What you’ll learn

Inspired by artist-made and historic postage stamps, participants will create faux postage with handset type printed on gummed, perforated paper. The class will meet two times—about a month apart. We will meet virtually for the first session, then adjourn to try our hand at printing artist stamps in our own shops using pre-perforated, gummed paper that Jessica will send to you. Experimentation is encouraged, and previous participants have incorporated lasercutting, woodcuts and other printmaking techniques in addition to handsetting metal and wood type. Virtual office hours are available for assisting with any printing issues that may spring up between sessions. We’ll conclude with another virtual session to troubleshoot, show & tell, and celebrate. Then, we’ll mail our artist stamps to Jessica for collation and distribution in portfolios to classmates!  

On Saturday, April 20, 10am–12pm PDT, we’ll:

  • Review typesetting and composition basics 
  • Go over best practices for setting borders
  • Learn about the joys of perforation
  • See some advanced daredevil typesetting tricks 

Then, participants will receive pre-perforated, gummed paper and a pre-paid return envelope in the mail and have over a month in which to print their artist stamp edition at home. Jessica will schedule office hours for troubleshooting any printing issues between sessions.

Then, on Saturday, June 1, 10am–12pm PDT, we’ll:

  • Share our lockups & unveil our final prints 
  • Learn about everyone’s successes and challenges
  • Review advanced daredevil techniques as needed

Finally, participants will mail their artist stamps back to Jessica. Soon after, you’ll receive a portfolio of everyone’s art in the mail.


This workshop consists of a demonstration and interactive Q&A, with ample time to practice what you learn and complete the class project between sessions. After the first session, you’ll need access to a printing press that is capable of fine registration so you can create your own stamps between sessions one and two. 

Who should take this class?

Printers who are interested in participating in a group art exchange and learning a lot about hand composition in the process should sign up. Whether you’re fairly new to hand typesetting, or you’re an experienced daredevil typesetter, all are welcome! 

Will this class be recorded?

All of PiP’s classes are live and unrecorded — you’ll find it’s a lot more fun and interactive this way.

Visit our FAQ page to learn more about PiP’s class policies.

About the Instructor

Jessica Spring
Tacoma, WA
Founded in 1999, Springtide Press is located in Tacoma, Washington. We design, print and bind artist books, broadsides and ephemera incorporating letterpress printing and handmade paper. Small finely-crafted editions and one-of-a-kind books explore historical topics, popular culture and typography from a unique perspective. Our shop motto, “where we always print damp” recognizes the Pacific Northwest as a fine place to print, where the damp climate helps make a good impression.