Letterpress edition of Pride and Prejudice seeks funding

James sez, "The Bowler Press is taking on printing a letterpress, three-volume edition of Pride & Prejudice, and they are trying to fund the costs of getting the materials to do so with crowd sourcing. The link is to the IndieGoGo crowd funding site for the project, where folks can donate to the project and receive perks, such as hand-printed P&P bookmarks, or other letterpress ephemera that will be made during the project. The printer and binder have produced a video that explains the project and shows how the books will be printed letterpress (seeing the old press at work is neat) and bound by hand. It's a pretty geeky-cool (with a touch of crazy) project and could use the help of anyone who might like to help support it."

Pride and Prejudice: Limited in Letterpress (Thanks, James!)


  1. I support them, but I really wonder when small scale offset printing will come back.

    1. As soon as large scale offset printing becomes obsolete.

      (I got into letterpress because, at the time, you could find a sweet letterpress on ebay for way less than, say, and etching press.)

      1. Correct.  Letterpress is cheaper.  But offset & linotype are pretty much commercially obsolete as well.  And when folks clamor for the great packaging of the pre-1980s, it’s letterpress, offset & linotype they are appreciating.

  2. I recently bought a monastery on E-bay, and now I need to hire some monks to make a handwritten edition too. It’s a pretty geeky-cool (with a touch of pious) project, and now I really need some crowd funding. It could really use some help.

  3. This looks fantastic, I’m definitely kicking in for this.  I’m a huge Jane Austen nerd, and wrote my thesis on “Northanger Abbey”.

    I love well done letterpress as well. If you’re ever in NYC, at the South Street Seaport (which honestly is mainly a tourist mall disaster to be avoided), check out Bowne and Co. Stationers. It’s actually part of the South Street Seaport Museum. They have an unbelievable collection of 19 C. graphic design. They also produce “modern” letterpress and printing works, using Old Timey methods. Definitely worth a visit if you enjoy this kind of thing.


  4. My issue with IndieGoGo is that, as I understand it, they collect your money even if the funding goal is not met (unlike Kickstarter). How do you expect someone to follow through on their plan/rewards if they don’t meet the funding goal?

    That’s just a gripe against IGG, though. I collect books and I really appreciate this project, and I’ll probably end up funding it, I’m just not sure how IndieGoGo’s model holds up to Kickstarter’s.

  5. Im split – Im really considering to buy one of these copies for my mother, since she loves it. Im just afraid the illustrations will be horrible, the illustrations in the video looked quite awful unfortunately. I would buy it without the illustrations… 

  6. The Alpha Phi Omega chapter at MIT has a decently equipped letterpress shop. They haven’t attempted anything this ambitious, but they’ve produced a lot of business cards, show tickets, announcements, wedding invitations, and so on over the years.

  7. It’s a bit pricey. It they’re going to charge $1300 for the base edition it seems crazy to skimp on the binding materials. And $2950 for the deluxe edition is an ridiculously high premium for leather.  Why not make one all-leather edition, charge $1500, and make 175 copies? And please don’t use some crappy modern art in the plates, or print the plates on textured paper. Better to not have any illustrations at all than the sort of thing they showed in the video.

    Also, what was with that “traditional principles of book design” thing? The whole gutter should not be equal to the side margin width, it needs to be wider, particularly taking into account the binding and the curvature. The lower margin is absurdly large, too. It looks wrong. It sets my teeth on edge. Why not just set the whole thing in Fractur if you’re so into medieval shibboleths? Tschichold’s The Form of the Book: Essays on the Morality of Good Design, which popularized that wretched design, is a pompous load of crap.

  8. Truly a labor of love. My cousin and her husband founded the Rather Press. It put her writings into print. Their earliest efforts were bound with staples. They were quickly taught how to do a proper stitch binding by their peers. Great consideration went into typeface and paper stock. A typical run was 35 copies. After her husband died she continued to write and print an annual limerick calendar. 
    While watching type being hand set is interesting, it’s a pity youngsters will never get to see a Linotype machine in action. What weird and wonderful creatures they were.

Comments are closed.