Hamilton Wood Type—Call to action

Call to Action!

Attention all Letterpress Printers:


Outpost: An Exhibition Celebrating the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum

As you may know, our friends at the Hamilton Wood Type Museum are facing a big challenge. They have to move from their current location in just a few short months. That means finding a new space for over a million pieces of type, literally tons of presses, and other printing equipment and finding hands and trucks that can move it all. Hamilton has set an estimated goal of $250,000 in the next few months to fund this move and new space. How can they do all of that with a staff of 3? With your help, of course!

On December 15th, in Chicago, the Center for Book and Paper Arts (in collaboration with APHA’s Inland Chapter, STA, Starshaped Press, Brad Vetter and lots of volunteers) will be throwing a Holiday Benefit Print Sale and party in order to raise funds for Hamilton’s big challenge. We will be exhibiting and selling donated prints throughout the event with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the Museum. We are seeking letterpress prints, broadsides, holiday cards or anything else you have inked up and would be willing to give to such a great cause.

Have a little more to offer?

As letterpress printers we all know the importance of preserving the legacy of Hamilton; would we be organizing print studios now if it had never existed? Here’s your chance to step it up! A show of prints and posters created especially for fundraising efforts will be set up during the Holiday Benefit Print Sale. For these pieces, we encourage you to create something entirely new that glorifies wood type and its importance to the history (and future!) of letterpress printing. As with all donations for the event, 100% of the proceeds will go to Hamilton.

Please consider the following when putting together your offering for the show:

* Time is of the essence! The opening is December 15th, and all pieces must be received by the 13th of December. Skip the Black Friday sales and get that printers cap on. It’s time to get inky for a good and pressing cause. If you can’t make the deadline, but can send something soon after, please do; we’d like all prints to be on display for the 15th so they can receive the maximum audience, but the fundraiser will continue through January.

* Consider creating an edition of around 50 prints at a price point around $30. This opens up the audience for the prints and is an accessible price for most print buyers. If you can create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece at a higher price point, then go for it!

* There are no size requirements, but something in the neighborhood of 12x18” to 14x22” or larger will look great on display and will give the show some cohesiveness. It would be appreciated if you have the ability to place your prints in clear sleeves with chipboard backings, but isn’t required.

* We’ve got two great themes to get your creativity flowing.

Feel free to choose or create your own:

1 IAm/We Are Hamilton Create a piece that showcases the best of your abilities with (preferably) Hamilton wood type that shows how this material continues to affect your creative process and ultimately your printing.

2 Going For the Green Hamilton needs the $$$! Create a piece that explores the idea and history of printing money that includes your wood type and interpretation of how it could be turned into $$.

Can you step up to the plate? Yes you can! Contact Jen Farrell asap with your resounding answer, and she will be happy to answer any questions you have about making this happen: [email protected] or 773-728-6359.
If you can’t contribute a new print, but still wish to donate existing pieces to the sale, please contact April Sheridan: [email protected]. In either case, kindly RSVP by December 1st.

All pieces can be shipped to:
Attention: April Sheridan/Hamilton Fundraiser
Center for Book and Paper Arts
Columbia College Chicago
1104 S Wabash Ave, 2nd Fl,
Chicago, IL 60605

Log in to reply   3 replies so far

Best of luck, Mike! This is the worthiest of causes. I hope a big angel and/or lots of us little cherubs come through with donations.


This is a great initiative I will try and produce something.

Just bumping this up in case someone missed it. I’m busy making my poster! So what if my Christmas cards are late.