I have been wanting to share this with you all for so long! Last fall, I was delighted to be a part of a collaboration between Target and the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Here is a little more information about Hamilton. I was proud to work for a company that sought out an opportunity to support and give visibility to such a unique place!
"The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum is the only museum dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type. With 1.5 million pieces of wood type and more than 1,000 styles and sizes of patterns, Hamilton's collection is one of the premier wood type collections in the world. In addition to wood type, the Museum is home to an amazing array of advertising cuts from the 1930s through the 1970s, and all of the equipment necessary to make wood type and print with it, as well as equipment used in the production of hot metal type, tools of the craft and rare type specimen catalogs.
Located between the East and West Twin Rivers on Lake Michigan, the Hamilton Manufacturing Companywas the largest wood type producer in the country, when virtually everything was letterpress printed. The company was founded in 1880, and in addition to wood type, the company has manufactured medical office furniture, light tables, the first gas powered clothes dryer (really!) and more; now in its 130th year, the company produces steel lab equipment."
A team of 8 textile designers across all Target apparel divisions got to go the the museum for a hands on look at these beautiful woodblocks. We spent 2 days working with Bill and Jim Moran, in the studio, on the presses, and getting to print blocks, some of which hadn't been printed in years. It was truly an amazing trip, not only getting to work with a group of graphic and textile designers that I truly admire and respect, but getting to support a craft like letterpress that has had such an integral part on our industry. After we gathered all of our imagery from Hamilton, it was back to work at Target Headquarters to develop a line of graphics that stayed true to the craft of letterpress and the posters and imagery that defined the era when these blocks were made. The "Vintage Varsity" collection was born and is at a Target Store near you! Mens, Womens, Kids, Accessories..there is something for everyone! One of Target's marketing team's followed our trip and a video is up on Target's Cool Never Fades facebook page.