FALLing for Letterpress

Guests at the Fall Letterpress Event were invited to participate in three different letterpress experiences. The first was to design an A2 folding note card using 70+ year old wood fonts and then watch a master craftsman print a custom set to take home on one of two decades-old Heidelberg presses. The second experience included designing an imprint to go on a one of three retro posters of Detroit, Michigan and the USA and then roll it out on a Challenge proof press. In the third experience, guests were invited to print an A7 folding note card on a 1901 8x10 Chandler & Price.  

As if the food and live music weren't already a fine compliment to the letterpress, our friends from the Monks & Friars exhibited their impressive craftsmanship and provided a live linoleum hand-carving demonstration which was later printed. 

Guests were given the choice of both blue or red ink on either white or Kraft paper from our friends at French Paper Company.  

Winter 2016 Letterpress Event was BLUEtiful!

The Winter 2016 Letterpress Event was enjoyed by many new faces and many new guests found their way to the studio for some Letterpress Love. A custom blue which was used to create the printed invitations was used by the guests on white and Kraft note cards and pre-printed backgrounds for stunning results and lots of smiles.

Christmas Letterpress Event was Merry and Bright

The Christmas Letterpress Event was merry and bright as guests designed fantastic note cards using metallic silver ink on white or Kraft paper by our friends at French Paper Company.   In addition to custom note cards, guests also personalized posters by printing their own message on vintage backgrounds of Detroit and the State of Michigan. 

Click on the carousal below to see some of the photos from the event. 

Many Thanks!

Printed in orange ink on Madero Beach paper by French Paper, this year's Thanksgiving card combined something new and something old. Decades-old wood fonts from the original Utley Brothers' font collection were combined with a recently hand-carved oak leaf for a message that is great for Thanksgiving and any other thankful sentiment. Purchase a 3-pack in our studio store here.

Fall 2015 Event

The 2015 Fall Letterpress Event saw guests creatively designing a beautiful collection of unique and personal stationery. Guests were given the choice between white and Kraft French Paper note cards - with each being printed with a burnt orange ink color to go along with the Autumn season. As always, craftsman John Sanders, printed each guest's masterpiece.  New to this event - Guests were given the opportunity to print their own posters on the studio's proof press. A popular combination was "DETROIT" printed in red ink over a 1905 map of Detroit.

Letterpress Experienced at Summer Event

Guests to this summer's letterpress event experienced history, creativity, design, art, and more. Great connections were made - cool new folks were met - and some totally creative stationery was printed. Sprinkle in music by Scott Loudon of The Aashrum and a live painting of the Spirit of Detroit by artist Matt Durbin and it was a total blast. 

Summer Letterpress Event

Our Summer '15 Letterpress Event is set as we continue the celebration of our 70-Year Made-in-Detroit Story!  

You're Invited - Join us in our letterpress studio for a come-and-go celebration - a hands-on & creative experience - design your own custom stationery using decades-old wooden type fonts our grandfather collected in the 30's & 40's - then watch a craftsman produce a custom set of your stationery before your eyes - for you to take home.

Thursday, June 11, 2015 | Come-and-Go anytime between 2 pm and 6 pm


Utley Brothers Printing | 567 Robbins Drive, Troy MI 48083

Operate a 100 Year-Old Printing Press - Be of the first to operate one of our "newest" additions to the studio; a Chandler & Price manufactured south of the border (in Cleveland) in 1901. The younger of the two is a 1929 Kelsey & Co. table-top press in which we feel a special connection. Guests will have the opportunity to operate both.

Uniquely Creative Experience - In addition to inspiring, through the use of decades-old materials and craftsmanship, we are really excited to introduce artist, Matt Durbin, as he treats guests to a live painting at the event.

Edge Painting - A few notes about this printed invite: Letterpress Printing is a head-turner itself but the printed June Event Invite featured a much-requested art called Edge Painting. The thick paper edge receives a "painted" treatment giving it attention it doesn't normally enjoy. 

Live in Detroit

Utley Brothers Printing was honored to share our 70-year story and our love of letterpress on WDIV Detroit's program "Live in the D". Younger Brother Ashley even got co-host, Guy Gordon, to make a print on live TV using a Kelsey & Co. printing press.  Watch 

70th Celebration Event

Our company's 70th Anniversary Celebration Event was made especially festive with Amos Kennedy of Kennedy Prints! exhibiting some of his work and Brian French sharing fun French Paper Company samples. Guests to the event designed their custom stationery using wood fonts and graphic cuts collected by the original Utley Brothers 70-80 years ago and printed at the event in a beautiful Robin's Egg Blue on white and Kraft paper. Guests were also given the opportunity to win 1 of the 3 California Case Font Drawers and a turn-of-the-century printing press. Attendees to the event were the first to see two new press additions to the studio one from 1901 and the other from 1929.

 Left to right; Amos Kennedy, Andy & Ashley Harrison, Brian French

Left to right; Amos Kennedy, Andy & Ashley Harrison, Brian French

Letterpress Samples
Letterpress Samples
Kelsey & Company Printing Press
1901 Chandler & Price

Beautifully Crafted Monogrammed Stationery

We were honored when approached by Shinola Detroit for a beautifully conceived project, consistent with the American craftsmanship for which they have become known. The project involved a monogrammed set for each letter of the alphabet using 5 unique vintage fonts. "Hand printed in Michigan, USA" in our studio by craftsman John Sanders, the note cards were printed on 140# Sweet Tooth White paper and the packaging was printed on 100# Kraft, both made by French Paper in Niles, Michigan, making the sets a 100% Made-in-Michigan printed product. Each set includes 5 matching envelopes.

Decades-old wood fonts which our company founders, the original Utley Brothers, made a part of their collection were put to use as five different font drawers were selected for the monogrammed sets. Printed in black ink, the dinged-up and imperfect wood fonts show their quarks and imperfections on each piece...and the beauty of letterpress. The inside of the folded card is blank to allow for that most-perfect hand-written message. The back of the note card is blind embossed with the now iconic branding of "Shinola Detroit".

The end product is one of beauty and craftsmanship - one in which we are proud; even before it was shipped to Shinola stores around the world. This beautifully crafted monogrammed stationery set truly lives up to Shinola's motto "Where American is Made".     


Christmas Event Smiles

Guests to the studio for our #TBT Christmas Edition Letterpress Event joined the festive cheer of the season as they created custom stationery to use for the holiday season and as gifts for others. Guests were invited to design folded note cards or memo cards using decades-old wood fonts from the studio; printed in PMS 185 on either White or Kraft colored paper. These one-of-a-kind beauties were 100% Michigan made as both the paper was made by the good folks at French Paper Company in Niles, Michigan and then printed by local craftsman, John Sanders as guests watched; providing a new perspective for on-demand printing. 

Guests were also the first to see the latest letterpress project produced for Shinola Detroit which is set to hit the stores this holiday season. 

Enjoy moments of the event by clicking through the Gallery Collections below  

Fallin' for Letterpress

Guests were falling in love for the hand-crafted goodness of letterpress printing during our recent #TBT Fall Letterpress Event. The Fall themed event featured orange ink and the choice between White and Kraft colored paper by French Paper Co. and the choice between folded note cards and flat memo cards. Guests walked away with a custom set of their very own stationery. They were invited to choose from 30+ wood font sets to communicate the perfect unique message. The creativity oozed from the studio as guests combined long since forgotten fonts with stock graphics that have been sitting in drawers since the company's owner bought them in the 1930's and 40's.  Scott and David Loudon of Ashrum Studio graced the space for three hours with incredible tunes. Local legend and studio craftsman, John Sanders, printed "On Demand" for hours on end.  As always, the star of the show was letterpress itself. Which is why new and returning guests to the studio continue Fallin' for Letterpress. And we can't blame them...because Cool Never Fades!

Letterpress Stationery

The Craft of Letterpress Printed Business Cards

Shinola has made a name for themselves with finally crafted products like watches, bicycles, journals and many other items. It makes sense that even the business cards they hand out would be finally crafted too. We are proud to be the company Shinola looked to for their letterpress printed cards. The card itself seems simple at first - but a level of printed sophistication is apparent as you look closer at this beautifully designed piece.  To begin with, the card is double thick by combining two sheets of 100# Kraft by French Paper Company. The back sheet is blind embossed with the Shinola Detroit logo...simple, subtle but quite memorable. The front sheet is letterpress printed in black - a perfect choice to go with the Kraft-colored paper.  The dynamic of the blind embossed logo on the back which projects out from the sheet with the letterpress printed front sheet which has a deep impression into the sheet makes this card a crafted beauty 

Shinola is based in Michigan.  The paper is made by French Paper Company in Michigan. The cards are produced in our studio in Michigan - making this a definitively finely-crafted made-in-Michigan project. 

Shinola Business Cards

Fall Letterpress Event

Invites to our Fall Letterpress Event #TBT Style were recently mailed. The #10 Orange Fizz envelopes by French Paper look cool themselves...with a custom address layout and either a Janis Joplin or Jimmi Hendrix stamp on the outside, is a real eye catcher. And that's before the invitation is even seen! Letterpress printed in a colorful Fall orange ink on French Paper's Pure White 140# Muscletone, the oblong 4 x 9 invite beckons the invitee to read each word with masterful typography by designer, Casey.

The event itself is sure to be memorable as new products, fonts and live music is enjoyed by guests. More information below.

French Paper. Made in Michigan is hot. And when it's paper made by the cool folks at French Paper in Niles, Michigan it's even better!  In addition to your choice between two stationery options, we'll be featuring a choice between two different French papers; white and Kraft colored.   

New Discovery. We have found 5 new wood font sets previously overlooked in the studio (it pays to straighten up every now and then). All the new font sets look great. We are excited to see if our guests think the fonts are as cool as we do and what they will create using these beauties!

Hashtag Madness. After multiple requests for "Hashtags" to add to creative masterpieces, we recently had a set created in different fonts and sizes. Apparently company founder, Bob Utley didn't need too many hashtags "back in the day".     

New Stationery Option. We are excited to offer our guests a new stationery option for this event. As our returning guests already know, the event experience includes going home with 10 folded A2 Note Cards. Beginning with this event, guests can choose 20 A2 Memo Cards instead of the folded note cards.   

Interested in Attending? October 16, 2014 | Come-and-go 4 - 7 pm |  RSVP to RSVP@UtleyBros.com

Lofty Letterpress Business Cards

With a great design concept that fit the vision for the company, this card combines two different letterpress processes for 1 outstanding result. Black and orange ink letterpress printed would be great by themselves. They are crisp and consistent with the company's branding. But what takes this business card, printed on French Papers' 140# White Muscletone, exceptional is the additional blind emboss. The company specializes in cloud-based solutions, so the talented designer, Kevin Q, added a blind embossed cloud (and dashed line) for an incredibly fresh finish. This Lofty Loftopia letterpress printed card is lovely.

Premium Reunion Invitation

This premium invitation combines several unique processes. Gold foil and black ink letterpressed would be impressive alone.  Utilizing new cohesive technology the invitation is 8-sheets thick - which alone make it really a special piece.  To knock this project out of the park; the schools colors are incorporated into the stack: two white outside sheets + 2 green inserts + 2 more white inserts + 2 yellow inserts = One Premium Reunion Invitation.