Somersault Letterpress + Creative is the crafty concoction of Mitch Hanson and Amy Pienta – one part love of machinery, one part love of doodling, and equal parts love for smashing iron into cotton. Together we are both a design studio creating one-of-a-kind imaginative greeting cards and printed ephemera, and a boutique print studio producing luxurious invitations and business cards by the process of relief printing on 50 yr-old vintage platen presses.
Being a boutique print studio means we’re able to keep a sharp eye on the details, from inception to finishing. Our process begins in our heads whether it’s a design idea for a client or a brainstorming session with a designer looking to get their vision communicated. We then work through all the details – going through processes, inks and papers – until a clear concept is achieved. Working from film, we plate all our jobs in-house using an eco-friendly photopolymer process. From there we position the images onto the base, load the ink into the press, roll up our sleeves and get to work.
Depending on quantities and image areas we’ll print on either a Heidelberg Windmill or a hand-fed Chandler & Price. Either way, running the job requires ink, paper and impression know-how. Some days – exceptionally amazing ones, that is – make-ready happens in one shot. Other days – well, let’s just say it doesn’t happen like that often enough. Every day, however, is ton of work, a ton of fun and never long enough. We encourage our local clients to come by for press checks and take a gander at the process.
Once printed, we head into trimming, scoring and die-cutting, and from there into finishing where any edge painting, taping, folding and duplexing happen. Finishing a job requires a patience and skillset all it’s own. It’s here where we really focus the “designer’s eye” on quality. Letterpress is by no means a perfect process, but we strive to make sure every piece you receive is as perfect as it can be.
We are focused on being small, artisanal craftspeople. We are not a for-the-trade print shop and we are not hobbyists. This is what we do all day, every day. Hustlin’ from our home studio allows us to engage ourselves in our work on a perpetual basis. We live and breathe letterpress, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.