The Amalgamated Printers’ Association was organized in 1958 as a hobby printers group so that members could improve their skills, expand their knowledge, and exchange samples of their letterpress work. Today, the APA consists of both professional and amateur letterpress printers, but our emphasis is still on the exchange of members’ letterpress printing and information on sources of equipment and better printing practices.
PRINTING EXCHANGED The exchange of printed pieces is accomplished through a monthly “bundle” mailed to the members. Members are required to produce four letterpress printed pieces per year and then send them to the “mailer” who makes up the “bundle” with all the material received that month. With membership limited to 150, this participation requirement isn’t particularly overwhelming. We place no requirement on the extent of such contributions–only that they must be done by the member and produced by letterpress. You are only limited in these productions by your own standards, imagination and equipment.
Membership dues are currently [as of January 2021] $45 per year, with applicable postage surcharges for international members to cover added mailing costs for the bundle. These dues help pay the costs of mailing the “bundle” and other Association expenses.
THE WAYZGOOSE There is an annual Wayzgoose, or printers’ picnic, convened somewhere in the United States at the invitation of a volunteer host or hostess. The Wayzgoose is usually a three-day affair and includes a Saturday auction and flea market of printers’ treasures. A banquet with guest speaker is generally held on Saturday evening. In between these events there are usually various tours and programs but probably the major highlight of these gatherings…just visiting with other kindred spirits who love letterpress.
PRINTING PROJECTS Each year, members produce a calendar with each monthly page printed by a different member. The size of the calendar sheets is specified, but the typography is left to the imagination of the printer. The separate calendar sheets are submitted to a coordinator who collates and binds them for inclusion in the bundle.
Treasure Gems is another annual project. Like the calendar, it is made up of separate contributions from the membership. The only limitation is the page size; content and typography are left to each contributor. Treasure Gems pages show many different phases of the printing hobby. Some describe a method of producing printed effects or processes, other are original or reprinted poetry, printing history, pages made up of the printer’s favorite dingbats, epigrams, photoengravings or polymer dies, whatever one might desire. Contributions to Treasure Gems are voluntary. Each contributor receives a copy and the remainder are sold to the other members.
Often, at the initiation of our members, contests, and other printing exercises are offered to the members in hopes of seeing how our members respond to these exercises with type and press. All of these exercises are voluntary.
OUR MEMBERS The membership consists of letterpress printers of all skill levels, with all manner of equipment. Some are even type founders, with complete Monotype equipment in their homes…while others have only the essentials–a few fonts of type and a small table top press. But we all have an interest in the letterpress printing process and the exchange of printed pieces.
MEMBERSHIP LIMITED As mentioned, our membership is limited to 150 members and we usually have a waiting list of applicants. If you are interested in membership, please fill out the application blank on this site and mail it (and a sample of your letterpress printing) to the secretary (listed on the application blank). You will be placed on our waiting list and contacted when an opening occurs. Send no money at this time. See membership application.