printing portrait.jpg

Brad Vetter: graphic designer, letterpress printer and occasional maker of great things

Brad Vetter is a designer, artist, educator and letterpress printer currently based in Louisville, KY. After studying graphic design at Western Kentucky University, Brad spent eight years honing his craft and printing posters at the legendary Hatch Show Print in Nashville, TN. During his tenure at Hatch he was able to merge his love of the handmade and graphic design in printing projects for his favorite bands (Arcade Fire, My Morning Jacket and Wilco) and the coolest clients (Nike and Anthropologie).

After Hatch, Brad became an independent printer and designer under the mantle Brad Vetter Design. Bouncing between antique letterpress equipment and contemporary technologies, he continues to hand print rock-and-roll posters while also adding some digital design to his repertoire. Recent poster clients include Mumford & Sons, Van Morrison and Chris Stapleton just to name a few. His letterpress inspired labels also adore every bottle of Signal Ridge Vineyard wine. Brad frequently lectures and hosts workshops throughout the US on his unique techniques and processes. His print work has been shown in such notable venues as the San Francisco MoMA, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Columbia College Center for Book and Paper, and the Danish Museum of Media.

 

Select Client List:

Nike, Fossil, Anthropologie, Ryman Auditorium, Penguin Books, Texas Tourism, Domtar Paper, AARP Magazine, Head Snowboards, Lost Highway Records, Garden & Gun Magazine, Boonville Cider House, Kickstand Productions, Rebel Wine Co., Fatz Cafe, Red Star Merchandise, Signal Ridge Vineyard

See a list of Exhibitions and Curriculum Vitae


Stay connected & see up-to-date work and in-process photos via my INSTAGRAM


Process: Letterpress

Letterpress (best described by Jim Sheradden of Hatch Show Print) is simply "Letters pressed into paper with ink in between".  Antique presses (I use a Vandercook Universal 1 circa 1965 and a Golding Pearl No. 3 circa 1890) are used to transfer ink and apply pressure to hand-set movable type and images (a collection of wood and lead type,old advertising cuts and new images carved from wood or linoleum). Each print is hand-cranked, one piece of paper at a time/one color at a time, through the press. All of the type/images are set and designed by hand, there is little to no use of a computer in the process at all. The invention of movable type predates Gutenberg, however, that guy gets a lot of the credit. This process of being able to reuse individual/printable letterforms revolutionized the way we as humans communicate. Today, the stakes are not quite as high, but people all over the world are waking up, once again, to the idea of printing letterpress. As we delve deeper into this digital world, it is nice to see, touch, hold, feel, smell something that is made by a human, someone who put love and skill into creating a tangible piece of printed ephemera. 


Learn More Here: 

Letterpress Commons: community driven letterpress resource

Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum: maker of wood type turned museum

Hatch Show Print: show poster print shop continually operating since 1879

Briar Press: the craigslist of letterpress.

Brad Vetter's letterpress studio at Hope Mills Collaborative in Louisville, KY. 

Brad Vetter's letterpress studio at Hope Mills Collaborative in Louisville, KY.