July 12, 2012
-- After 70 years of business, Utley Brothers Printing of Troy, MI, and Atlantic Press Printing of Madison Heights, MI, are joining forces. Having started in Detroit, Michigan, in the 1940’s, the two companies have shared parallel journeys for most of the nearly 70 years. On July 1, 2012, John W. Sanders, the heart and soul of Atlantic Press Printing, began anchoring the newly established Letterpress Studio of Utley Brothers, appropriately named, Atlantic Press. Andy Harrison, V.P. at Utley, said "We are excited to meet a renewed appreciation for letterpress printing by improving our quality and scope of the time-honored craft of letterpress printing, hot foil stamping and embossing by adding John and Atlantic Press to our company."
Sanders added "After enjoying 30 years running Atlantic Press Printing, I have experienced a skip in my step as a result of our new Letterpress Studio venture." Speaking of Utley Brothers Printing, Sanders continued "It is refreshing to find people who value the craftsmanship and the art found in letterpress printing. Together we are confident we will service current customers and find new ones who share a similar love and appreciation for letterpress printing."
Utilizing decades-old equipment, letterpress printing is a process that has seen a comeback in recent years. Unlike newer digital technologies, letterpress printing is a mechanical process which has evolved in recent years into the controlled collision of a thick sheet of paper between two heavy metal platens using a perfectly calibrated die in between. The result is a quality fibrous cotton or pulp (tree) sheet receiving a deep tactile impression, unmistakable to the site. Printing operators of previous generations would see this fiber busting as poor printing, however, many new fans (and some old ones), simply shake their heads with understanding and call it letterpress love.
In addition to letterpress printing, Atlantic Press will also serve up quality foiling and embossing by utilizing similar equipment and processes. Sanders reports, “The quality outcome of letterpress printing, foiling and embossing is slow and expensive but the result is worth every penny.” Brides looking for a one-of-a-kind wedding invitation, executives wanting to hand out a head-turning business card or event coordinators desiring the invitation to their next gala to speak for itself, will each find that letterpress printing will set any project apart.
The new studio is including education as an important initiative. One the studio’s goals is to share the beauty of letterpress printing with interested students from the next generation. The letterpress studio was recently the destination of a college field trip where students from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan, joined Harrison and Sanders in the studio to learn more about different printing processes. Sanders said “We demonstrated thermography (raised printing), foiling and embossing, but the students were mostly interested in letterpress printing. Like us, they get it and they love it. And in a virtual/digital world, it’s wonderful to see the connection these design students make with such a physical process. But then again, it’s letterpress. We understand.”