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Going Against The Grain At Paisley Dog Press

By Elisha Neubauer

Shane and Janelle Paisley are something of a wonder. The couple are high school sweethearts who, at the ripe age of 37, have spent more of their lives together than apart. More than just a devoted husband and wife team, the pair are essentially a power couple: working together to create Paisley Dog Press.

Paisley Dog Press, located in Reading, Pennsylvania, was started after the couple researched hand-rendered typography for a client project. Having backgrounds in graphic design and strategic marketing, the couple fell in love with the concept of letterpress printing and decided to research it further. After much research, and much deliberation, the duo decided to follow their hearts and headed off to purchase their first press.

"Paisley Dog Press began because we believe this so-called dying art is still very much alive and the need to unplug from the world and make something from scratch, something human is crucial," Janelle Paisley, co-owner, said.

The high school sweethearts are used to going against the grain, so to say; so, letterpress seemed like a natural fit. Having launched their own strategic marketing firm back in 2003, the pair wanted to get back to the roots of it all. They were looking for an opportunity to disconnect, to unplug, from the world and all its digital noise. In 2008, when they stumbled upon letterpress, they had had enough. The old-fashioned printing seemed like the perfect escape from the craziness of the modern world.

"There's something so romantic about being analog printers in a digital world," Paisley said.

Letterpress brings an underutilized medium to life, allowing clients to tailor their products to fit their individual needs. This is especially handy for events like weddings, where color schemes and patterns come into play.

"Everything about our process is personal and of the highest quality standards. We've hand-mixed inks to perfectly match shade of our client's bridesmaid dresses, sourced the perfect thickness of exotic seed papers, and spent countless hours on hand-work and embellishments just to make everything...simply perfect," Paisley said.

In addition to being more customized in color choices, utilizing a letterpress allows for an eco-friendlier method, as well.

"Recently we transitioned all of our packaging to 100% recycled materials," Paisley said. "In letterpress, we can print on all types of materials like wood veneers, leather, plastics, seed papers and found objects. It's a win-win because we produce some really cool projects and can be environmentally responsible at the same time."

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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