Drawn by hand…understand?

Each of our broadsides is lettered and illustrated by hand—starting with Chandler’s pencil drawings.

In black and white

Once the pencil design is finished, Chandler redraws the illustration with a pen, rendering each line in crisp black ink.

Going their separate ways

Our broadsides are printed in multiple colors—each of which means a separate printing plate, and a separate run through the press. So the color separations are done by hand, at the time the design is inked in black.

Fashion plates

Jessica prints our broadsides from photopolymer plates—a light-sensitive plastic that can faithfully reproduce even the most detailed illustration or type. After processing in a darkroom, we’re left with a raised printing plate that is ready to go on press. We make many of our own plates in Jessica’s studio.

The smell of fresh ink

We usually have a pretty clear idea of what colors our broadsides will be, but we still do a lot of experimentation at the ink-mixing stage. Jessica prints using oil-based letterpress inks.

Golden opportunity

Many of our broadsides employ unusual or experimental printing techniques and materials—such as metallic or fluorescent inks.

Mechanical advantage

Jessica prints our broadsides on an antique Vandercook cylinder press. Since this type of printing equipment is no longer being manufactured, letterpress printers have to become adept at maintaining and fixing their own tools and machines.

Printer’s bling

Each ink color makes for some gorgeous eye candy on press.

In the pink

Jessica printing the second color pass on our “Prop Cake” broadside.

Octopus’s garden

The plates for the first color pass on our “Tugboat Thea” broadside.

About Our Process

Each broadside in the Dead Feminists series is created by hand—from the hand-drawn lettering and illustrations to the finished hand-pulled letterpress prints. Scroll through the images above to see our process step-by-step, from sketch to finished broadside.

Get ’em before they disappear

Each broadside is printed in a limited edition. Because the limited nature of our editions increases the value and collectibility of our broadsides, we never reprint them once an edition sells out. However, we also have small reproduction postcards of each piece, and those do not sell out. To help differentiate between the originals and the reproductions, the hand-printed letterpress broadsides are larger (10 x 18 inches), and are signed and numbered. The postcards are smaller (5 x 8 inches), commercially printed, and are not signed. To make sure you don’t miss out on the letterpress broadsides, sign up for our mailing list and be the first to hear whenever we release a new piece.