Creative Chat: Brady Vest of Hammerpress

by Jennifer King on July 17, 2013

While vendor applications are still rolling in, we can’t help but share a sneak peek and interview with one of our 2013 makers. Hammerpress is a letterpress studio based in Kansas City, Missouri, where they make one-of-a-kind posters, stationery, cards and fine printed goods. We’re so happy Brady Vest and Hammerpress will be joining us for the sale this year. Brady was kind enough to answer some of our burning questions about his shop, which we’re looking forward to showcasing in November!

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1. Hammerpress has been ticking for almost 20 years! How would you describe your work and its style? 

I think we have tried to maintain a common thread throughout our work over the last 20 years. The dynamic has changed quite a bit since it was just me. We now have 3 designers, so at first it was a real challenge to keep a consistency. I feel that our work is always grounded in a sincere attempt to be as authentic as possible and as true to the art of letterpress. We tend to focus a lot of typographic and ornamental work.

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2. Do you remember the first piece you made for Hammerpress? What was it?

The first official Hammerpress project was a CD and LP project for a band called Giants Chair here in Kansas City.

3. Your shop is full of beautiful custom designs in addition to a huge Hammerpress line consisting of posters, calendars and gift wrap, just to name a few! How do you manage multiple projects and clients along with creating your own designs for Hammerpress?

This is a constant work in progress. Our focus has become our wholesale line of cards, but like a lot of shops, we have to balance that with custom work as well. It’s certainly a challenge but we have found a happy medium and have tried to really develop a better habit of time management with both of those worlds to allow us to stay on track.

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4. What is your favorite part about the letterpress process? 

I think it has always been the tactile nature of letterpress printing. It’s a very hands on process whether it’s an elaborate hand-set type piece or a new design that we are printing from polymer or metal plates.

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5. What are some things currently inspiring you?

I feel like personally I have been super attracted to textiles lately. A lot of vintage japanese textiles, native american textiles, etc.

Thanks, Brady!

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