douglas wilson

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Letterpress Reprints

Part of the reason this blog has been quiet recently is that I have been feverishly printing in my new home studio. I am happy to say that the fruits of my labor are now available. Both of these prints sold out their first editions quite quickly, so I have printed new prints with (in my opinion) improved paper and colors.

"When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade" is now printed on bright yellow French "Lemon Drop" Pop-Tone 100 lb. cover-weight paper with green ink. I have always been fond of this phrase and I'm happy that others like it as well.

"All You Need is Love" is now printed on light blue French "Sno Cone" Pop-Tone 100 lb. cover-weight paper with a burgundy/wine colored ink. Although I know that love isn't the only thing you need, it certainly wouldn't hurt to have more of it in our lives.

I have uploaded a few photos of the printing process on my Flickr.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Have A Printing Press - INSIDE MY HOUSE!

I finally moved my Vandercook SP-20 Proof Printing Press into our house last weekend. I am super excited to have the press close and I hope to get it up and printing soon.

If you want to see moving photos (we took a ton to help anyone else that is planning to move similar presses), visit this Flickr set.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, July 27, 2009

Two New Prints

Well, it is back to the shameless self-promotion part of this blog. But I suppose if I don't do then, then nobody will...

I have two new letterpressed prints available for purchase from Keep Calm Gallery. "Do What You Love, Love What You Do" reminds me that following your passion always seems to work out while "Practice Makes Perfect" reminds me that nothing comes without working diligently.

If the self-promotion part of this post is making you gag, you really should check out Keep Calm Gallery's new website. It has been refreshed and redesigned and now has much greater usability. I find the ability to change to your favorite local currency especially useful.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Build Your Own Letterpress

Want to get into letterpress printing without a huge investment? Try building your own press!

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Grafica Fidalga

Grafica Fidalga, a printing press in São Paulo, Brazil, makes posters on a 1929 German letterpress using hand-carved wooden letters. Seriously awesome!

via CoolHunting.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wood Type Web Museum

Unicorn Graphics has a very nice web museum of wood type and specimen books. See H&FJ review their favorites here.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, April 20, 2009

Continue to Make Your Own Path

Some shameless self-promotion here:

I just finished printing another big set of "Make Your Own Path" prints that are now for sale at Keep Calm Gallery!

Each print is hand letterpressed on a different topographic map making each print unique. I hope you like it!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Type Specimen Books

Flickr user :Nike has a seriously enviable collection of Type Specimen Books.

Labels: , ,

Friday, March 27, 2009

Skylab Letterpress

Check out this great video of a Heidelberg Windmill in action at Skylab Letterpress in Kansas City, Missouri.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Flashy Letterpress

OutOfSorts Press has a fantastic flash intro to their website that shows the process of letterpress printing simply and quickly. Nice!

Labels: ,

Saturday, January 24, 2009

English School Children Make Their Own Paths

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and this week I received an email that certainly proved just that:

Dear Sir,

I am a primary school teacher in the UK, I teach at James Watt Primary School in Handsworth, Birmingham. Just before Christmas, my Year 5 class (Age 9/10) spent the day working on a special art project based on your work.

My father had been given a "Make Your Own Path" print as a retirement gift and using that as our inspiration we set about creating prints on old maps. The children chose different motivational messages and made their print blocks out of cardboard. We then rollered paint onto the print blocks and printed it. We watched the video on your website about how you had carried out your printing and compared the differences.

I would like to thank you for the inspiration with which the children were able to create their own artwork and hope you enjoy looking at their homage to your work.

Many thanks, with best wishes,

Oliver Wilson
Year 5 Teacher
James Watt Primary School

Seriously, the biggest compliment my work has ever received! I am SO excited that these children were inspired by my work and I hope they all grow up to be artists, designers, and printers!

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My New Press!

I am the proud father of this 1969 Vandercook SP-20 printing press! 1500 lbs. of solid steel beauty!

Check out this great promotional brochure (PDF) for the SP-20.

Fair warning: letterpress is a serious, if not fatal, disease.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Arm NYC

Design*Sponge has a great interview with Dan Morris proprietor of The Arm NYC.

All things letterpress and all things good.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Printing for the President

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Anthony Burrill

Anthony Burrill makes nice things. Especially this letterpressed poster: Work Hard & Be Nice To People.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Printing - Your Life Work

Printing—your life work series (1947) from on Vimeo.

Thanks to Adam Bowlin for this great film about printing and letterpress.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Print and Last Chance!

By popular demand, I have printed a new letterpressed edition of
"All You Need is Love." It is in a limited edition of 90 and red/magenta ink on white heavy-weight paper.

Also, I found 4 Artist Proofs of "The Scarlet Letter" that will be up on Keep Calm tomorrow - check my artist page to see when they go up. After they are sold, there will be no more of this print, so if you are interested, I would get one fast!

Labels: , , ,

Monday, October 20, 2008

Print's Regional Design Annual

For the third year in a row, I am sharing the pages of Print's Regional Design Annual with good friend, Danny Gibson.

If you pick up the December 2008 issue, you may find something familiar on page 151.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Open Up The Archive!

The onpaperwings Archive has been opened and a few stray prints have found the light of day!

Recently, I found my Artist Proofs from all of my past letterpress prints. Most of these prints have long been sold out, so I decided to give all of my faithful readers a second chance to purchase these previously sold out prints at a discount.

You can see all of my prints on my Keep Calm Artist Page.

There are only a few APs of each print, so I would suggest purchasing soon, just to be safe as once they are gone, they are gone for good!

About my Artist Proofs: they are prints that didn't quite make the cut to become part of the signed and numbered edition. I am very strict on the quality of my prints and any slight imperfections are rejected for the signed edition.

Because of the nature of letterpress, there are always slight challenges that arise while printing and a few prints aren't quite perfect. Each AP print has a slight imperfection - either a slightly bent corner, some stray ink, or a patchy impression - but many people think this adds to the "uniqueness" of the print!

These prints are signed and instead of having a number of the edition and there is an "AP" in the corner.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Two New Swiss Prints For Sale!

As some of you may know, I have spent this summer living in Geneva, Switzerland and printing as an artist-in-residence at L’Association pour le Patrimoine Industriel (API - The Association of Industrial Heritage). My time is now over (we leave Geneva tomorrow for a week of travel and then back to the States) but I am happy to report that the two prints that I created during my time are now available for purchase!

The first print, "Typographie Mon Amour" is a two-color print using some of the great wooden type and borders at API. Printed on crisp white paper, the dark grey and red inks really pop out nicely.

The second print, "Dynamisme" is another two-color print utilizing every wooden typeface in API's collection. Dynamisme is French for dynamism - which means "the quality of being characterized by vigorous activity and progress." It is the second-biggest print I have ever made and the overprinting turned out quite well, if I can say so myself!

You can see more images of these prints on my Flickr.

Both of these prints are very limited and will never be printed again, so get them while they are hot!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The New Keep Calm Gallery

Lucas and Hayley have launched a completely new website for Keep Calm Gallery - and it is all bright and shiny! Along with a new print of mine (well, a old print that I am finally selling) they have some great new prints and a super-slick way to checkout - yea!

Labels: ,

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Typeface: The Movie

Kartemquin films is currently editing a documentary simply entitled "Typeface." It is a film about the history of Hamilton Wood Type - from it's beginnings, to when it became the leading manufacturer of wood type in America, to now, as a living museum and the applications of letterpress and wood type in the 21st century.

I have been lucky enough to visit the Hamilton in Two Rivers, Wisconsin and I have massively high hopes for this film!

Also, visit Hamilton's website as well as Nick Sherman's Flickr set of his residency in Two Rivers.

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 27, 2008

Linecaster Documentary

If you have ever seen a Linotype machine, I am sure that you were fascinated by such a complex and amazing machine. You also were probably curious to learn how the thing works, seeing all of the wheels and gears and levers.

Even if you have no idea what I am talking about, you should check out this great 1960 documentary on linecasting machines that was created in Italy. The narration is in English, and it is well worth your time!

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 20, 2008

Swiss Impressions

This week I have started as an artist-in-residence at the Écomusée Voltaire at L’Association pour le Patrimoine Industriel (API - The Association of Industrial Heritage) in Geneva, Switzerland. I will be letterpressing from their collection of type and images collected from all over Switzerland this summer.

This paragraph sums up API really well: "The Association for Industrial Heritage (API) - Écomusée Voltaire aims to promote and restore the printing techniques now abandoned, putting them at the service of artistic creation, publishing, research and technical of teaching. The Écomusée Voltaire is active at the regional level and contributes to international influence of the tradition of printing. To achieve its goals, the Écomusée Voltaire has a collection of machines and tools to practice a variety of printing processes."

I have posted some photos up on my Flickr of API and I will be adding to it as prints roll off my FAG Control 525 Proof Press.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

When Life Gives You Lemons...

I am happy to announce my latest print available at Keep Calm Gallery -
"When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade!" It is hand printed (as all my pieces are) using a 1950's Vandercook letterpress proof press and antique wood type. It is available in a limited edition of 85.

This will be my last new print for a while, as I will be away for the summer so snatch it up!

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Zeichen Press

Zeichen Press (pronounced z-eye-shin) makes some nice and clever letterpressed materials. via swissmiss.

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 7, 2008

"Get Lost" & "Live With Art!"

I am excited to announce a new print, "Get Lost" is now available for purchase at Keep Calm. It is printed over vintage maps from the United Kingdom and in a limited edition of 220. Each map is different and unique!

To accompany the print, I have made a short little film showing the process of making "Get Lost." If you are unfamiliar with the process of letterpress printing, this will help you understand how my prints are made.

Also, for a limited time, if you purchase any of my prints from Keep Calm, you will receive "Live With Art!" for free! It's my way of saying "thanks" for spending your hard-earned money on my prints and it's a good phrase to live by as well!

You can also see a lower-quality version of my film on my YouTube page. And as always, more images can be seen on my Flickr.

Labels: , , , ,

Printer's Ornaments

View a very nice collection of printer's ornaments here and read more about it here.

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Words Are Pictures

Craig Ward creates some really nice work - most of it typographically inspired and created.

Also, some nice work by Andrew Holder. Both link via the ever-nice It's Nice That.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, March 10, 2008

How I See Things at This Moment.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Alan Kitching

How do I not know about Alan Kitching?! Seriously, how do I not know about Alan Kitching?!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Posters Available in Oregon!

Any of you living in or near Ashland, Oregon USA should stop in at the fabulous PRIZE Shoppe. While visiting, you can pick up one of my posters (Make Your Own Path & All You Need Is Love) in person and also find other wonderful vintage items to fill your home/apartment with joy and happiness!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 24, 2008

File Under: Shameless Self-Promotion

Frank Chimero, a good friend and all-around creative artist, has interviewed me for his blog, By So and So. I share, in sometimes too many words, all about my schooling, curiosity, travels, and current work. Thanks Frank!

Also, as noted in an earlier post, I have three new prints that are now available for purchase today at Keep Calm! "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!" "All You Need Is Love" and "Less Is More" are all part of an ongoing series of phrases pressed to paper.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Three New Letterpressed Prints!

I want to announce three new letterpressed prints that I just finished!

First: "All You Need Is Love" - Perfect for your sweetheart or anyone that needs a reminder of what is most important. Metallic Silver ink on red.

Second: "Less Is More." - My homage to the Swiss Modernists. Simple, clean, and probably one of the most difficult posters I have ever printed. Metallic Silver on dark-grey.

Third: "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!" - A phrase we should all follow! Brown ink on green.

All three prints will soon be available at Keep Calm. You can see more pictures on my Flickr page.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Poetic Letterpress

Although I don't fully understand all of what he is doing, Jeremy James Thompson creates some really interesting letterpress poetry. Via Monoscope.

Labels: ,

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas from the Wilsons!

The annual Wilson Christmas card is out! I wish you and yours the very best Christmas and New Year!

Labels: ,


The mash-up poster that DJGDesign/Danny Gibson and I gave birth to has been chosen to be in the Kansas City AIGA A4 Annual Show. Here's to more posters to come!

Labels: , ,

Monday, December 10, 2007

Two New Letterpressed Posters

I guess I have to toot my own horn on this one, but I have two new letterpressed posters for sale at Keep Calm!

One poster, "Make Your Own Path" is printed with deep-red ink on antique maps that I have collected over the years. Each print is different and unique! UPDATE: The "Make Your Own Path" prints have sold out in just two days! That must be some sort of record! Thanks to all who ordered so quickly!

The other poster, "Home Sweet Home" is printed with brown ink on nice French Kraft paper with a cute diamond border. You can see more photos of the new posters on my Flickr account.

Also, my "Good Morning Sunshine" poster has sold out at Keep-Calm! Thanks to all who purchased this print!

Labels: , ,

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Even if you are not an aficionado of type, you have got to love these posters from the 1860's!

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New Posters Available Online!

My newest series of letterpressed posters is now available for purchase from the fine folks at Keep Calm! Each of the three new posters are lovingly hand-letterpressed by me, so each one is unique. Any of the posters (or even better, all of them) would make great Christmas presents, if I can say so myself!

You can see the posters behind-the-scenes on my Flickr. Enjoy!

Labels: , ,

Friday, November 9, 2007

New Letterpressed Poster Series!

I am happy to announce a new Letterpressed Poster Series that I have been feverishly working on the past few weeks.

I am printing a series of maxims/phrases/idioms that are of interest to me. No "big art concept" behind these prints, just fun phrases that are lovingly hand letterpressed for you!

They will soon go on sale at Keep Calm - so keep an eye out for that!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, November 4, 2007

My New Business Cards

My last business cards had the wrong address, wrong email address, wrong website address, wrong phone number - really the only thing that was accurate was my name. So I finally have completed my new business cards and they have accurate information on them! You can find them as a set on my Flickr account.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Letterpressed portrait of Gutenberg

This portrait of Johannes Gutenberg was created using 50,688 8-point characters! Amazing!!!

I want one - but I can't read German!

Labels: ,

Why I am forever in love with letterpress...

This is a nice five minute video produced about the Firefly Press. It pretty much shows all of the aspects of what I love about letterpress.

Labels: ,