Summer of Mobile Moveable Type


design 3






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The Summer of Mobile Moveable Type was a two and a half month long roadtrip project in the summer of 2021. It included printing 1,500 postcards, at 20 letterpress studios around the United States. We travelled 8,000 miles in our mobile studio to collaborate with these designers. 




project scope


︎Design Entrepreneurship
︎Letterpress 
︎Collaboration

︎Copy Writing




goal


My initial quarantine project involved refurbishing a Kelsey tabletop letterpress, print size 5” x 8”. I bought this little press with one of my best friends in the summer of 2020. Our original plan was to bring the revived press with us down to Nashville to execute one off print projects. But when my internship there was canceled due to the ongoing pandemic, the route to Nashville blossomed into an opportunity to take the press wherever we wanted. After a few weeks of mulling over these unforeseen opportunities, our plans unraveled into a full path around the United States.

outcome


In true itinerant printer style, we decided to reach out to specific letterpress shops along our route to stay with and collaborate on a print. At each of the 20 stops, we created an edition of 75 postcards. To make our project even more official, we opened an LLC and bank account, and called ourselves S.R. Kissler Press–using the initials of our two first names. We designed a website where I blogged about each stop to share with our supporters the beautiful and surprising details of the journey surrounding the inspiration and creation of each postcard. We also built out a mobile studio in the the back of Rosemary’s tiny Scion XD to navigate the ongoing pandemic safely by designing an outdoor studio.
 



preparation



funding


$7,000+


were funded on our Kickstarter campaign where we pre-sold all of our postcards. They would be sent from the road after they were printed.


studios


20


different studio, or locations to collaborate with on each postcard design. We primarily used the type from each shop. 



travel


8,000


miles were logged on our loop around the United States. Lucky, we did not have any car trouble with our mobile studio!


postcards 


1,500


backs of the postcards were pre-printed to prepare for the front designs. Once the fronts were complete at each location, they were sent in the mail.


getting on the road

︎︎︎Our Kickstarter campaign 




Our Kickstarter campaign was very successful thanks to all of our amazing sponsors. We were even picked as the “projects we love” from Kickstarter platform. 



We made a video to help explain our project to our sponsors on Kickstarter.



the final postcards
*click to enlarge

︎︎︎in order of travel 






blogging our journey


︎read a few of my blogs from the trip!


Silver City, NM

Power and Light Press

Highway 152 is a windy mountain road that led us through the Gila National Forest to the quaint and charming town of Silver City, NM. While neither Rosemary nor I had been to the area before, or New Mexico for that matter, we felt right at home meandering our way along the roadway that resembles many mountain passages in Montana. It was a refreshing break from the straight concrete channels that led us here. We knew Silver City was a bit off the beaten path, but we were pleasantly surprised when we found ourselves enjoying the tree lined corridor, leading us to Power and Light Press. (www.powerandlightpress.com). 
Continue reading...︎︎︎

Baton Rouge, LA

Blackbird Letterpress 

We were exhausted by the time we got to Baton Rouge Wednesday evening.15+ hours sitting while watching the landscapes change over three days puts you in a traveler's trance. When we planned this road trip, we assumed our driving days would afford us substantial breaks, but we fooled ourselves. Pulling up to Blackbird letterpress, we felt a little lost at first. Dave, Kathryn's husband, called from the balcony above as we got out, “are y’all with the radio station?” Rosemary and I both looked at each other confused, and then to the music themed mural on the brick wall adjacent. We both said, “uh, no we are the printers!” Dave nodded with a smile, “Ah, Kathryn’s inside!”  Continue reading...︎︎︎

Darien, GA

Ashantilly Press 

Back in late March of this year, in the wee-beginning months of planning our trip, we received an Instagram message from a printer named Nic from Savannah, GA. He advised us to check our Ashantilly press, a print shop located on the coast of Georgia close to the beach. At this point in our planning we were excited for any printers that reached out and wanted to host us - so we followed up. We did not have any idea what the summer would end up looking like for us, but we were excited to give it a go. The impending problems of COVID and financials as a young creative kept us on our toes throughout the Spring. All we knew was we wanted to travel around the country to meet printers, with a studio in the back of our car, and eat good food. We had the forethought to make money while doing it, and the conviction to make it happen. And with people like Nic, who reached out from all the way on the other side of the country we were hopeful people wanted to meet us too.
Continue reading...︎︎︎


instagram


︎check out our instagram for all the pictures from the road!

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Accreditation: Rosemary Middlebrook - project partner. All of our collaborative printers from the road. All of our incredible sponsors. Thomas Muelling - YouTube video.
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