Cleanwash Letterpress was founded in 2010 by Colleen Walsh. Her curiosity for letterpress printing began during her years at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She heard rumors of a letterpress in the printmaking building but never once laid eyes on one until she moved to Philadelphia on a whim in 2007, and began working with an old style Chandler & Price. Both born in Cleveland, they quickly formed a strong friendship.
On top of offering greeting cards to suffice her drawing habit, we now offer wedding and other special occasion invitations, birth announcements, personal stationery as well as business identity packages. Cleanwash works with clients searching for the perfect printed pieces to complement their celebration, and designers to translate their vision to print.
the art of Letterpress
Letterpress printing was developed centuries ago as a means of creation for the masses. Pressmen used only a “kiss” impression — never leaving behind a hint of the impact that occurred between paper and type. Now with the ease and accessibility of digital printing, the need for such equipment has vanished. Some have adapted by using these presses in a new way, trading the “kiss” for a deep impression — this is referred to as “the black art” by many seasoned printers. Cleanwash is a believer.
All printing, cutting and platemaking is done in-house in a fully solar powered building. At Cleanwash we use recyclable and reusable photopolymer plates. Our stock of choice is a tree free paper made with cotton fibers salvaged from the garment industry.