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Trade Organizations

Joining a trade organization is a wonderful way to get to know other printers both near and far and provides a ready-made community from which to glean inspiration and expertise.

American Printing History Association

The American Printing History Association (APHA) produces the journal Printing History, which has valuable articles about printing’s past. They also publish interesting books and hold conferences related to the history of letterpress. There are APHA chapters all over the country.

Amalgamated Printers Association

The Amalgamated Printers Association (APA) 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, with an emphasis on the exchange of members’ letterpress printing and information on sources of equipment and better printing practices. 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. 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. Membership is limited to 150 members. 1

Fine Press Book Association

The Fine Press Book Association (FPBA) is an organization of individuals interested in the art of fine printing formed with the goal of promoting the appreciation of beautiful books and printing skills. Now established for more than ten years, it has a world-wide membership of those interested in the fine book and contemporary fine printing: collectors, printers, artists, illustrators, museums, and dealers. It publishes Parenthesis, a journal devoted to fine printing and book-making, issues an occasional e-newsletter, organizes events for members and non-members, and has run competitions in book design.2

Ladies of Letterpress

Ladies of Letterpress is an international trade organization for letterpress printers and print enthusiasts. Their mission is to promote the art and craft of letterpress printing and to encourage the voice and vision of women printers. They strive to maintain the cultural legacy of fine press printing while advancing it as a living, contemporary art form as well as a viable commercial printing method. Membership is open to both men and women. The organization’s stated goals are to;

  • to promote the art and craft of letterpress printing through public outreach, participation in trade fairs, conferences, exhibitions, print exchanges
  • to support their members by offering an encouraging, non-competitive community
  • to maintain the cultural legacy of fine press printing through exposure and education
  • to advance letterpress printing as a viable commercial printing method by emphasizing best practices both in technique and business
  • to help their members become self-sustaining through working together to achieve goals that they might not be able to achieve singly 3



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