Steel Cent Paper & Prints

Steel Cent Paper & Prints is a friendly neighborhood letterpress studio located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We formed with the intention of practicing and preserving letterpress and its accompanying tradition of typographic excellence, while allowing spontaneity and inventiveness to guide the design process.

Services

At Steel Cent, we specialize in custom, short-run letterpress jobs for anyone looking for a unique, personal touch to their design and print needs. We thrive on closely collaborating with our clients from the initial discussion to the final prints.

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A Look Inside Our Shop

What is a modern letterpress shop supposed to be like? While we don’t have an answer to that question, naturally we glanced back at the past for insight. To stay true to tradition, we use and collect movable type families and manufacture our final prints on minimal electricity (mostly for coffee and lights during late hours). Almost everything else requires a trained eye and good ol’ fashioned muscle power!

Steel Cent Paper & Prints was founded in 2012 and officially moved into its newly built home last December—a combination print studio and wood shop in the quiet woods of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Our name pays homage to the 1943 steel cent.

Our Press

Steel Cent’s primary workhorse is a classic piece of American printing history—a 1906 Chandler & Price 8×12. This hand-fed, flywheel driven platen press was prominent in America’s printing industry from 1880–1940, has a simple and reliable design, and were built to last. Production finally ended on these presses in the mid 1960’s as the United States shifted to modern printing technology.

Today, Chandler & Price presses are rare and highly sought after by collectors and the growing letterpress community. Even after a century, this remarkable press still delivers impressive and consistent prints, and in our opinion—with more physical character than what modern offset and digital printers can produce.

The Folks At Steel Cent

Jacob Riggs is the owner and primary printmaker at Steel Cent Paper & Prints. He can be contacted directly at jake@steelcent.com.