Braiid Design & Letterpress is the creation of Georgia Welch-Cronin, an artist, illustrator, designer, teacher and printer. Her fascination with nature and pattern are the sources for much of her work and she enjoys braiding together the new and old processes that make up modern letterpress.
After aquiring her 1935 Chandler & Price press in the fall of 2015 she started to focus more on this time-honored craft and creates hand illustrated cards, invitations, stationery, business cards, and custom designs for all occassions. Her home in Omaha, NE serves as her studio, with a room dedicated to the creation of new pieces and to the press itself, lovingly referred to as Eleanor. She uses rubber based inks and most items are printed on recycled handmade letterpress papers from Porridge Press in Lincoln, NE.
Georgia creates pieces that can be purchased readily made or bespoke. To begin collaborating on a custom project, please contact her here.
Printing was first developed by Johannes Gutenberg in 1439 and the process used is basically the same today. Raised designs on plates are loaded into the press and are then inked and pressed onto each sheet of hand fed paper. Plates can be made of wood, metal or plastic. The latter, also called photopolymer, allows designs to be developed in digital programs—such as Adobe® Illustrator—and then made into custom plates. Each color in a design requires a new plate, and each color is printed separately. While multiple color designs take much more time and expense to produce, the end product is well worth the investment.
Traditional printing processes and techniques fell out of fashion with the onset of computers, but recently a revival of the traditional printing methods has emerged. By first creating the design in a desktop publishing program and then creating the plates, modern day letterpress artisans are in the unique position of melding the old technologies with the new. A thorough knowledge of those computer programs and the inner mechanisms of the printing press are both necessary to create unique designs.
Letterpress is a “hands-on” art form, and even single color pieces have a texture that just cannot be achieved with more modern offset and digital printing processes. When choosing your letterpress piece, look for a beautiful, deep impression in elegant thick paper—a hallmark of braiid—noting the quality of a handmade item.