President’s APA January Honor Roll

At the core of our purpose in the APA is fostering an interest in the art of letterpress printing and to encourage excellence in printing. This is what our monthly bundles are meant to achieve, filled with a plethora of printed pieces, many of which rise to a level of excellence that should be noted and honored. All of us as amateur printers (and a few professional) should be encouraged by such wonderful examples of fine printing and design, and challenged to improve our own printing and design skills. That is the other goal of the APA, the improvement of printing skills and the impartation of techniques.

So as the APA President, I want to begin a new monthly posting of bundle submissions that have impressed me in some way, and put them in my Honor Roll. In the interest of brevity, this certainly doesn’t mean these are the only pieces I found interesting, beautiful or technically excellent; just ones that I have placed at the top of my subjective list.

And in doing so, may I encourage all of our members to develop their own Honor Roll and take the personal effort to send the honored printers a short note of your appreciation, whether by a snail mail (letterpresses) postcard or an email; everyone loves a bit of love and some accolades! And that is our other purpose as a hobby organization… to promote mutual communication. Let’s talk to each other and encourage each other and learn from each other.

So here are my first Honor Roll designees for the month of January.

1. Top of my list is Lawrence Peterson #878 with his multi-color (four) THANK YOU CARD. Lawrence hand sets all of his type and borders, has a keen sense of design and style. His printing on an 1887 Pearl Press is always excellent with both impression and inking. This is an excellent example of both letterpress printing and design. Great job Lawrence! You are consistently among our finest letterpress typographers and printers.


2. Jim Horton #622 WE WILL COME REJOICING seasonal card, featuring a wood-engraved background image created by Jim, of course, and a calendar for the year. Besides being well printed with a subtle background color, Jim managed to round-hole perforate the calendar in the middle of the card, not an easy feat! Very creative and excellent job, Jim!


3. Richard Kegler #913 NEW YEAR folded panel card. An innovative design that allows the reader to play with the folds and create different readings of the design, from Happy New Year to 2021 A Year to Start ANEW. And Richard manages to put a little humor in the piece as well. Nice colors and typography.



4. Mark Sableman #598 CHRISTMAS CAROL, a Christmas Card printed letterpress with a four-color engraving of young Dickens’ carolers. As all of us know, printing four-color letterpress images raises the bar for all of us. Great job Mark, and I appreciate your colophon describing the process, its history and the encouragement to consider printing four-color. And I happen to love Bernhard Modern!




5. The Jim Daggs Refrigerator Award goes to Scott Howard #960. Our beloved, departed member Jim Daggs always printed pieces so well, but with such pithy humor that they made it to my refrigerator for the greatest honor. Humor and cleverness were always critical, as well as good printing. Scott’s piece on Gym Membership reached this pinnacle and is now magneted to my fridge!

Print often, print your best, and print to impress! That’s the APA way….

In the service of Gutenberg,

Mark Barbour
2021 APA President

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