Old fashion print shop offers customers unique and one of a kind letterpress designs

Inside the Steam Whistle Letterpress and Design Shop in Over-the-Rhine is a sound of an long gone era when printing presses were as common as a computer is today.

"They are made out of cast iron. They are old and they are noisy but they are kind of marvels of their day," said the shops owner, Brian Stuparyk.

Stuparyk stamps posters, postcards, wedding invitations and all sorts of cards literally by hand.

"Really from when Gutenburg started, printing his Bibles to until the middle of the 20th Century all most printed matter was printed by a relief letterpress process. That’s the kind of printing we do," Stuparyk explained.

He has over 300 type cases, each filled with hundreds of alphabet letters of different sizes and styles.

The blocks are called sorts.

"If you ran out of common letters, say as an 'e' or an 'i', then it was said you were out of sorts and you no longer had enough to finish your typesetting. That’s also where that expression comes from," Stuparyk said.

The foot-powered press is designed to print one color at a time.

"So for every color you add, you are doubling the amount of work on the print job. So one color print might take five hours where a two-color print might take ten," Stuparyk said.

Stuparyk said he knows it's the digital age, but says he enjoys bringing a part of the past back to life in the community.

"You have this large, hulking, greasy mass of machine spinning, but what comes out of it is this beautiful delicate invitation. There’s something kind of beautiful about that, too," Stuparyk said.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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