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Lead Image

If you love letterpress—and it seems like everyone does these days—then this project is worth a closer look. Each card in this promotional packet highlights a different era of typography. One side of the card exhibits the finished, letterpressed piece while the reverse side displays the plate used to print that piece. Amazing that everything is actual fonts and printing bits. 



Self Promotion

Quantity Produced


Production Cost

$1,000 for materials and offset printing

Production Time

approx. 10 months

Dimensions (Width × Height × Depth)

5 × 7 in

Page Count


Paper Stock

French / Steel Gray / 100lb
French / Newspaper White / 80lb
French / Parchtone Aged / 80lb
French / Cement Green / 100lb

Number of Colors

2 per piece, 1 offset spot per piece



hand sewn folder


Sadly, there were so many used, it might take days to add them all up.

This piece is available for purchase for $35

Description ---

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Project Description

The Starshaped Self Promotional Packet was a year-in-the-making collection of prints designed to showcase all of the charms and strengths of working exclusively with antique metal and wood type, the chosen method for all custom projects designed and printed in the studio. Because our design work and type collection readily lend themselves to four main typographic approaches, there are four pieces that highlight each of these. The Titanic piece features type produced before 1912, the Chicago piece is more mid-century with type and ornaments representing that period, the ragtime/silent film-inspired piece focuses on phrases and type of the 20's, and the labor history piece takes a democratic approach to design, giving equal billing to the collections of popular quotes and ideas of the movement in a rally-inspired format. Each of the four inserts has a photograph of the form (the setup for the letterpress printing) offset printed on the backside so that the viewer can see exactly how it was created. The outer folder is hand sewn and holds all of the pieces and a business card, while including a short blurb on the importance of preserving and making these materials available to our clients now.

Production Lesson(s)

I learned exactly what kind of typesetting I was capable of at the time of printing each piece. I pushed the boundaries of what metal and wood type can do in a small space, and attempted to work in as many 'tricks of the trade' of the artistic printers of the 1890s as possible. Many of these attempts initially failed, but were ultimately successful with trial and error, and occasionally walking away for a bit.”

Post Author

Author Picture

Duncan Robertson

Former intern at UnderConsideration LLC.

More: Online / On Twitter


Date Published

May 20, 2013


Filed Under

Self promotion


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FPO has gathered a generous group of experts willing to help with your most pressing — get it?! — questions about print production. Send us an e-mail with your question and we will query the experts and post the collected answers.



FPO (For Print Only), is a division of UnderConsideration, celebrating the reality that print is not dead by showcasing the most compelling printed projects.

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About UnderConsideration

UnderConsideration is a graphic design enterprise that runs a network of blogs, publishes books, organizes live events and judged competitions, and designs for clients.


Brand New / Displaying opinions and focusing solely on corporate and brand identity work.

Art of the Menu / Cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.

Quipsologies / Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.

Speak Up (2002 – 2009) / Discussing, and looking for, what is relevant in, and the relevance of, graphic design. Archives Only.

Word It (2003 – 2010) / Encouraging creative diversity in the community through monthly, one-word challenges. Archives Only.

Brand New Classroom (2010 – 2011) / Providing a space for critique and opinions on student identity workArchives Only.

graphic design

Department of Design / Designing corporate and brand identities and full development of printed and digital matter for clients.


The 2010 FPO Awards / 2011, self-published.

The 2010 Brand New Awards / 2011, self-published.

Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work / 2010, self-published.

Events & Judged Competitions

Brand New Conference / A one-day event on the development of corporate and brand identity projects by some of today’s most active and influential practitioners from around the world.

Brand New Awards / Celebrating the best identity work produced around the world.

FPO Awards / Celebrating the best print work from around the world.


Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design / 2009, Rockport.

Women of Design: Influence and Inspiration from the Original Trailblazers to the New Groundbreakers / 2008, HOW Books.

The Word It Book: Speak Up Presents a Gallery of Interpreted Words / 2007, HOW Books.

The End