Dirty hands no. 1 :


YOU BRING YOUR CREATIVE LIFE EXPERIENCES; we'll handle the technical part and most all of the grunt work. Give letterpress a try just for fun.

AN ASIDE TO STUDENTS : Don’t wait for a faculty member to set this up for you.

  • We are mainly talking about the 2 Creative Letterpress workshops — MEANDER BOOK workshop and the H.N. WERKMAN workshop.

  • Faculty are busy and likely don’t relish having to spend a big chunk of their weekend or reorganizing a weekday.

  • You will learn something by taking personal control of your education and not sitting around waiting for someone to control it for you. What needs to happen is for one of you to start the process and then sell it to enough fellow classmates to get the workshop to run. Both workshops we are suggesting require a minimum of 6 and we would rather have 14.

  • You may find that your school will pay all or part of the cost of the workshop. Some schools require the students to pay their own way. You might find it strange, but more students from that school have taken our workshops than any other schools. Some schools that have AIGA student chapters can get support. If you have a club, your school may have grant money you can use. At the very least I would encourage you to try and get at least half of the cost covered by the school.

  • Any of the workshops get you a line on your résumé. The Meander Book workshop can get you 2 lines and you can walk out at the end of the day with a cool, FINISHED portfolio piece. The Werkman workshop can give you some interesting typography to scan and use in other work for your portfolio.

Chose from 4 different creative workshops that let your artistic license out for a spin. Click here for our workshop calendar or contact us to request a date for your group's retreat, outside-the-textbook class experience, or just an infusion of possibility.

If you are a Design, English, History or Material Culture student : Tell your teacher about Lead Graffiti and see if they’ll set up a workshop. If they don’t, talk it up amongst your fellow students and do it yourself. Just drop us an email and we’ll work it out with you. Some schools will pay for all or part of the workshop. Student AIGA chapter? Use some of that money.

If you are part of an organization that looks for ways to promote team building and catalysts for creative thinking, we believe our Creative Letterpress workshops offer wonderful, inexpensive opportunities.

Option #1 : Meander Book

USEFUL AND POPULAR with students of design, typography, writing, and history, this workshop also makes a surprising business or departmental retreat option for team building. You will see a density of problem-solving effort of up to 14 people compressed into one piece. And this particular book format lends itself quite easily to other portfolio and professional needs.

Starts with a studio tour and a brief history talk with samples. Then, design & handset your page, keyboard & cast your name in hot metal for your book, print your book covers on a hand-cranked press, print your 2-color text pages on an automatic Vandercook cylinder press, and finish with hand binding 3 copies of your 14-page, portfolio-worthy book to take away.


Option #2 : H.N. Werkman druksels

THIS IS SPONTANEOUS, COLORFUL FUN for children (as young as 8 with minimal adult help), families, clubs, design students and professionals. A super first-typography-week-of-the-semester class, this workshop enables students to see letterforms as shapes with immense visual potential versus just words.

A brief studio tour, historical talk on Werkman and his process with samples leaves plenty of time to tinker. With 5 different presses to rotate between, you can express your imagination with shapes and color as fast as you can ink them up. 


Option no. 3 : Quotable broadside

IN DEMAND BY design-typography-writing-history classes and clubs, this half-day, collaborative workshop also makes a brief retreat option for business professionals. Get your hands on a little type, add a dash of experimentation, and print with conviction.

Pick your theme and let everyone bring a short quote (up to 80 characters) to set by hand while including a visual twist. Load your lines into the press and print your own 3 copies as keepsakes.


HOLIDAYS MAKE a good opportunity for connecting to friends and family with a made-just-for-you card. In letterpress there isn't Photoshop or the internet to "borrow" images. You look around our collection and seewhat you can find in the studio to print and create a concept for tour card with "found" images.

The rather random image of a flashlight that we have in our collection combined with some hearts (we have a lot of those) with a pair from our bracket collection and in 45 minutes you are printing your cards. Key is to keep it simple, fun, and dense with feeling. You walk out with 40 postcards. If you like you can even round the corners.

Two popular themes are Christmas / New Years, and Valentine's Day. We've also done drink coasters for St. Patrick's day. Check our workshop calendar for a month or so before the holiday. If you are interested in initiating one that isn't listed, click here to suggest a topic or a date. We'll see what we can do.