On February 9th, 2012, the Hound Dog Press from Louisville, KY came to Lexington to talk about their letterpress business and to show their work, which is currently on exhibit in the Rasdall Gallery at the University of Kentucky until March 1st. The lecture was presented by the Student Activities Board on campus. After the lecture, there was a gathering in the Rasdall Gallery to view their exhibit. They even had Matt Gibson DJing from WRFL (University of Kentucky’s 24 hr radio gig!) I first heard about this press not too long ago, and it only reinforces that these odd, yet exciting connections just seem to happen in my life. I heard about Hound Dog Press when I went to a Ben Sollee, Daniel Martin Moore, Yim Yames concert in Louisville at the end of December. This press happened to do the poster for the event (which the last poster was sold to the guy in front of me!).
The design for the poster was hand-drawn, then scanned into the computer, where it was cut into layers into print making blocks.
The two guys who run the press, Nick & Robert, first talked about how they got into letter pressing and showed some of their college work and how they developed their current artistic style. After graduation, Nick (who started the business) said him and his wife pretty much packed up and moved to New York City, where he worked for Bowne & Co Stationers, a print making museum. This is where he got to apprentice you could say, and also collect a lot of machines and tools. And this is when Hound Dog Press began. (We asked him how he got the name and he said in NY not many knew what a ‘hound’ was, and he had a Treeing Walker Coonhound (which is what we have!)). After a few years, they moved back to Kentucky to Louisville, where him and another guy Robert eventually opened Hound Dog Press in 2008, just 3 years ago. Their business is now becoming more and more popular. They print greeting cards, posters, and wedding invitations. Their work is unique, especially the wedding invitations, which not many letterpressers like to do. But Nick says he enjoys accepting these jobs because he enjoys working with people’s ideas. I think their work has an old-time feel and takes on the characteristic of the vintage letterpressing style. I really love businesses like this and enjoy seeing that more and more are springing up here in Louisville and Lexington. Here in Lexington we have Cricket Press, which is also awesome!
You can check out some of their work on their Flickr site: Hound Dog Press on Flikr
You can also see their shop in downtown Louisville and their process in this movie on Vimeo
I love collecting prints, especially ones printed by hand. They have this texture to them and you can see the handmade quality. I was impressed when they gave us this mini poster!