About Us Exquisite Letterpress

About Us

Exquisite Letterpress has printing facilities at Dubuque Letterpress in the old Warehouse District in Dubuque, Iowa, and design studios in Galena, Illinois.

Dubuque Letterpress
Exquisite Letterpress has printing facilities at Dubuque Letterpress in the old Warehouse District in Dubuque, Iowa, and design studios in Galena, Illinois.

Founder, type director and chief wash-up technician Peter Fraterdeus has been working with letterpress since 7th grade at Nichols Junior High School in Evanston Illinois. “Print Shop” teacher Mr. Huebner would surely never have imagined that forty years later, Peter would be inking up these old Chandler and Price platen presses to produce not just “business cards” but exquisite typography.

It’s funny how the cycle continues, since in the intervening years, letterpress had been left for dead many times.

In fact, these presses had been nearly dead themselves until earlier this year when they were raised from the edge of oblivion, rusted and molding after over a decade in storage and disuse. With much scraping, wire-brushing, polishing, Evapo-Rust and LOVE, they are now better than ever, and joined by ‘new’ equipment, including our Intertek Photopolymer Platemaker and the Heidelberg Original “Windmill”.

Peter thinks that now that everyone and their Sister has a printer capable of producing “type” (in the 80s we called it ‘wysiwyg’ and ‘desktop publishing’), the Spirit of Real Printing has risen again to demonstrate for all time that while laser and ink-jet may be good for something, they will simply never compete with a real PRESS — don’t call it a “printer”!

C&P 10×15 Platen
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