If you are a regular reader of Hello May you will know we are a little obsessed with the beautiful work of West Oz wedding photographers Still Love, whose handy work you can spy here and here, so needless to say we were all kinds of chuffed to have them take time out of their busy schedule (these guys book up quick brides to be!) to photograph Ann and Phil from Whiteman Park Print Shop for a Hello Vendor profile.
Ann gives us the low down on these almost one hundred year old printing machines that turn out the prettiest invitations you ever did see. Take it away Ann…
How did Whiteman Park Print Shop come about? In 1988, Phil was given an opportunity to open up the Print Shop as part of the Trade Village in Whiteman Park that also resided a blacksmith, carpenter, and a leathersmith. The Trade Village has since been dismantled but the Print Shop remained a feature in what is now The Village. We are a working museum with vintage presses and printing equipment that were used in traditional print shops and now in a contemporary context.
Advice for brides and grooms coming in? Always order a few extra invitations and definitely have more envelopes just in case of hand addressing mishaps.
Your favourite part of the job? Mixing inks and matching it exactly to a specific Pantone colour. And of course, printing on the presses… each one of the machines makes its own unique sound.
Tell us about the machinery you use? Do they have names? We do not have names for our machines. But we do affectionately call our 1930s Quad Crown Miehle “The Dinosaur” as it is a huge beast of a press and when the machine is on is rattles and roars. We mainly use our 1950s Heidelberg 10”x15” and our Chandler and Price that is over a century old for letterpress stationery. We have a Heidelberg Cylinder, a single-colour offset press Heidelberg Kord 62, and two Ludlows and a Linotype machine that casts lines of lead type slugs.
Can you explain in a few sentences what letterpress actually is and how it works… The history of letterpress printing dates back to about 1440 when Johannes Gutenberg invented the modern movable type. These days we use less movable type due to the limited fonts and sizes. In the Print Shop we turn the PDF artwork provided to us by clients into black and white negatives, then use the negatives to create photopolymer printing plates. We mount the plates onto a printing block that is locked up into a chase (printing frame). Once the chase is secured onto the press, ink is applied to the surface of the plate and paper is laid carefully on top then squashed using a hard surface from above.
Do you offer custom design ? We are solely a print shop, and love helping brides and grooms to-be turn their artwork into a reality.
All time favourite colour combination? Oh gosh that’s a tough one. One of our current faves is mint green and mushroom brown.
Funnest part about working with Phil? The Print Shop antics! We try to have fun while printing and love making each other laugh. Just the other day we received a new poster and I had Phil holding it so I could take a picture… the outcome was hilarious with his eyes peering shiftily above the poster, had me in stitches.
Any life lessons he has taught you? Be kind to yourself and to others. Printers like artists can be their own worst critique and Phil has taught me to be confident with that I have produced and just be.
Ever get your fingers jammed in the press? Thankfully the two of us have never had our fingers jammed in a press. But I often find myself with new and odd-looking bruises from bumping into the presses and machines.
Funnest part of the job? Printing! Smelling the inks and hearing the sounds of the press while feeding paper into the press is rather satisfying. It’s a multisensory experience.