All Aboard @ The Letterpress Depot!

Written by in Create, Events, Letterpress, Paper Passion

Get On This Train

The Letterpress Depot in Englewood, CO, offers a platform for anyone to enjoy and use an astonishing array of letterpress equipment and historic type archives. 
Imagine a place where inspired designers can go to learn about printing, typography, bookbinding, and more. That place exists. Well, that place almost exists, thanks to the determination of a group of Colorado-based pressmen and women, graphic designers, artists, community leaders, and “dye-hard” type fans. They’ve turned to crowdsourcing to raise the funds they need to complete a dream — and there’s no stopping this fast-moving train of joy.
The Letterpress Depot is driven by internationally known Denver printer and pressman Tom Parson and wife Patti, executive producer of the PBS News Hour. The first phase of the funding campaign closes in just a few days. The money will be used to lay groundwork, literally: grading and building a concrete ramp strong enough to support moving 15 presses and 2,000 cases of type into the building. The ramp will also provide ADA access to guests.

A group of passionate letterpress printers, bookbinders, and artists under the guidance of  Tom Parson (above right photo, back row, far left) are working to bring a 1915 train station back to life as a letterpress museum and work space south of Denver in Englewood, CO. 

The Letterpress Depot is raising funds by selling limited edition letterpress poster packs. Love letterpress? Love trains? Love history? Love craft? You’ll love these.

[Go here to view link on separate page.]
The Letterpress Depot Mission
Long before text messaging, email, or even typewriters, letterpress printing was the most common way to share  thoughts and ideas through text — dating all the way back to the 15th century. Our mission is to give hands-on access to traditional letterpress equipment to allow the community to continue to preserve, reimagine, and redefine this beautiful art form for future generations. The Letterpress Depot is a 501(c)(3) corporation. Our volunteer base is huge, with more than 200 fans and supporters from the surrounding print, design, communications, small business, education, and artist communities.


The Letterpress Depot executive director and benefactor, Tom Parson, pictured above, left and right. Parson supplied much of the Depot’s functional equipment, type, and resource books. He and wife Patti also provided seed funds to get the project going. “This will be a museum without glass,” he says. “We will have thousands of fonts of metal type, a large library, and 15 presses available to users and guests. This collection will be one everyone can use and enjoy.”

Clickety clack: This historic Santa Fe Railroad station in Englewood is the new home to The Letterpress Depot. Builders have excavated the basement for the printshop. The sound of rolling thunder (press machines) returns to this historic station.

An Epic Wave of Giving and Storeroom Emptying
Tom Parson has been saving letterpress equipment from being scrapped for more than 30 years. His studio, basement, and multiple storage units are full. He wanted to share his collection and place it under one roof.
Once the word got out about Parson starting The Letterpress Depot, others started throwing open their private collections, too. Glenn Moore donated his dad’s entire print and rubber stamp making shop, MECCA, including 700 cases of type.
Barb Hale donated her rare Vandercook No. 1, thought to be one of only 13 left in the world. The Masons of Central City, CO, offered one of the first newspaper presses in the state. It’s currently above their lodge and will need to be disassembled to get down a 100-year-old staircase.
Says Jason Wedekind, vice president of the Depot board of directors and owner of Genghis Kern Letterpress & Design, “We are very close to goal. We’ve raised $40K of the $70K we need to complete phase one construction. We need community support to finish the task.” Crews have built a new wall and installed doors to seal off the foundation. Next comes a ramp that will allow ADA access and a way to move heavy presses down to the new printshop.  Once complete, volunteers can begin sorting and cataloging the collection.
“This project is the outcome of years of personal collecting and four years of planning,” reminds Wedekind. “We need funds to complete construction, but much work has been done. We have presses, type, and tons of support. We need our community to help us move the train forward. And remember, next time you’re in Denver, come see us and get some ink under your fingernails.”
Neenah supports the letterpress and design community of Denver. These are people who help make print come alive. We look forward to visiting the completed Depot. Please share or like this post on your social network.
Support The Letterpress Depot of Englewood, CO
1.  Go here to make a contribution: letterpressdepot.com.
2.  To  purchase unique art that will help fund the program, visit indiegogo campaign and shop the marketplace.
3.  Sign up for the mailing list to track progress at The Letterpress Depot.

Looking to Learn Letterpress?
The Depot is currently scheduling two upcoming letterpress workshops that would be worth a trip out to Denver: An ornamental type workshop hosted by Jennifer Farrell of Starshaped Press, and a pressure printing workshop hosted by Brad Vetter. No experience necessary. Learning from these two is a treat! For more information or to sign up after the campaign has ended, contact The Depot at info@letterpressdepot.com.

  1. 06
    Mary C Bruno said:

    Knocked it out of the park again Matt!!! This is a great piece and gets me super stoked to get out to Denver and get in on this! I donated and will continue to pass the word around. Hell YEAH Letterpress Depot is gunna ROCK!


  2. 07
    Matt Porter said:

    Letterpress people are a supportive community. Good luck Letterpress Depot!