Very M-Press-ive: New App to Attract Legions to Letterpress

Written by in Profiles

It was John Bonadies’ love for letterpress is palpable. And when you hear his passionate concern for the dwindling numbers of  “Old School” printers who understand not only how to use such a press, you understand and want to support his cause. One is his friend and former professor, Doyle Moore.

John Bonadies choosing type for LetterMpress™ app.

John Bonadies admiring his children.

Go see the overview video after you’ve read this great feature on our blog:

“Doyle was an avid book printer and had his own letterpress studio. Long retired, he had come to a point where he could no longer work the letterpress. I told Doyle of my plans to produce the LetterMpress™  iPad app and start a letterpress co-op. He said immediately, ‘You need to take over my press.’ He knew he had found someone who shared his love for the art of the letterpress as well as a great idea to put to good use the equipment and type that he held so dear for five decades.”

Designer John Bonadies withfriend and developer Jeff Adams, launched LetterMpress™ as a creative project through Kickstarter.com to help raise funds for purchase of vintage wood type to use as source images in the iPad app. They exceeded their funding goal by more than 250%.  Bonadies plans to extend LetterMpress™ to other platforms and other apps are in planning stage very soon.

LetterMpress™ is a new iPad application that gives users the virtual experience of working with the vintage letterpress wood type, art cuts, and printing press techniques.  For those who love paper, printing and ink, this new app is a must download.

LetterMpress™ Studio

The LetterMPress A-Team.

Click this link to the new LetterMpress™ video. The three minute video shows the built-in coolness: hand-typesetting, printing press action, color inks, paper color choices, sharing via email and Facebook and other eye-popping capabilities. App users will enjoy an experience that includes selecting and placing the wood type and carved block imagery on the press bed, mixing your colors and the delight of “hand-cranking” the vintage Vandercook letterpress to print upon the printed page.


LetterMPress screen shot.

Says Tom Wright, director of advertising and design at Neenah, “Our mantra is this: ‘When you print, do it well.’ This app will mint letterpress users. Many of these new letterpress fans will deploy 100% cotton Crane’s LETTRA® papers because they are regarded by the masters of the craft as the best suited for letterpress work.”

LetterMpress™ will introduce letterpress to a new audience. It will also be introducing Crane’s LETTRA® to Kickstarter supporters by sending them posters and cards printed with the actual wood type specimens on Crane’s LETTRA® 100% cotton paper.

Some may gripe that all this effort is not the “same thing” as arranging wood type on a press bed with the real smell of machine oil, paper, and inks hanging in the air.  They’re missing the point, too.

Replies Bonadies: “Our goal is not to replace the letterpress experience.  On the contrary, we are building a well-equipped letterpress shop in the college town of Champaign to complement the LetterMpress experience. Our co-op will be a valuable resource for letterpress fans with vintage letterpresses available, a growing collection wood type and art cuts, as well as classes and workshops.

Neenah wishes LetterMPress the best.

LetterMpress™ for the iPad

Contact LetterMPress for your very own Mousepad.

  1. 07
    Neenah Paper said:

    What fun modern technology can be.

  2. 07
    Neenah Paper said:

    Act now while mouse pads last.

  3. 07

    Who the hell still uses a mousepad?

    Great concept and a hell of a sneaky strategy to scoop up a great wood type collection.
    Wish I’d done it first!

  4. 07
    Renee Lackie said:

    Forget what Peter said. I want a mouse pad. I think what you are doing is great! Wonderful idea for generations to come. Best wishes for much success.

  5. 09

    […] The paper companies that I researched for a recent article have seemingly turned that prediction on its head. Paper companies have truly taken initiative and are finding new ways to keep paper relevant in the Internet age. Portals, tools and tips, and blogs populate these sites (see Unisource Worldwide’s interactive customer solution, unisourcedigital.com), while some companies have added multiple sites, virtual storefronts and e-commerce sites (Mohawk Fine Papers for instance has several sites, including transactional specialty sites feltandwireshop.com and pinholepress.com). Green information abounds on specialty sites like BoiseChoices.com and the conversation around sustainability is alive and well on the Finch in the Forest blog, among others. Neenah Paper, for their part, has literally taken blogging to the level of art form with Against the Grain, a blog filled with educational entries like “Very M-Pressive: New App to Attract Legions to Letterpress.” […]