DWRI Letterpress has been up to quite a lot since we wrote about them for our February/March print issue.
For those who weren’t able to grab a copy of our February/March issue, DWRI Letterpress was covered as a part of our feature on New Englanders bringing back letterpress across the region. We were attracted to DWRI Letterpress for many reasons.
One of which was their approach to the industry— properly executing an important and traditional craft using modern or contemporary content. For example, their pencils with Beyoncé lyrics stamped in gold or silver foil, and their Ludlow Type Specimen Sheets featuring Taylor Swift lyrics. Dan Wood, founder, and RISD faculty member understands the historical context of showcasing examples of type and uses that knowledge to provide viewers a more provocative or relatable experience, “…it’s a good way to bring in that tradition and the craft into something a bit more humorous. Not necessarily lighter, but an example of who we are right now.”
However, do not write off their pithy printing choices as a gimmick – DWRI Letterpress’s conscious scale-back of self-seriousness is legitimately earned. They’ve been very successfully due to their dedication to process, attention to materials and machinery, in addition to their ability to advise and enlighten clients. Recently, they’ve hosted hands-on workshops with groups like the Makers at Hasbro. These workshops lend people the opportunity to learn the history of letterpress while demoing equipment, a process that fosters team building and general analog appreciation, “You don’t forget how essential your work is,” says Dan, “sometimes you just forget how new it is to other people.” Today, DWRI Letterpress’s employees operate as designers, industry educators, and letterpress evangelists.
Looking ahead, DWRI Letterpress is moving towards increasing their offerings beyond workshops and myriad services to clients across Rhode Island and the region. Dan and his team plan to add self-publishing to their broad list of activities. Beyond their work as troubleshooters and printers in the shop, Dan Wood, Louis Harada (materials genius) and Hope Anderson, (main production force on several machines at the shop) are all printmaking artists. Dan wants to use the shop as a publishing platform to circulate and sell his work and the work of his colleagues, “we’re looking to have a monthly or bi-monthly spotlight of these newly published prints…we’re all artists and we all work for other artists, so taking on the role of publishing on top of that is very interesting.”
Be sure to follow DWRI Letterpress on Facebook as they continue to place their unique stamp on the letterpress scene across New England. In addition, peruse and frequently check their webstore for print selections and custom orders.