WELCOME to letterpresshowto. My name is Brian Donnell. I am a journeyman pressman (in Platen and Job Cylinder) now working at Advanced Letterpress in Portland, Oregon (September, 2008). I began my apprenticeship in 1974, and have been a letterpress printer ever since.

I want this site to be a sort of letterpress primer or tutorial. I have tried to present systematically printing lore that I have found in the past to be useful to those who have some experience in letterpress, and who want to increase their craft knowledge. My remarks about presswork are those of a journeyman pressman. I have no experience with Vandercook or Heidelberg cylinder presses. My remarks about composition and stonework are informed by long association with compositors and by my own experience, but I am not a trained compositor. I have tried to minimize my personal opinions.

About letterpress printing more could be said, and more still could be shown—the satisfying work of educating oneself in one’s craft is neverending. Let us go together, then, under the maxim of Horace:

If you have advice more helpful than mine, be open and share it. If not, use mine along with me.