About Clandestine PressIMG_1455 - Version 2

Clandestine Press started its journey as a wandering letterpress printer, all Clandestine and no Press. With time and a good dose of right-place-right-time luck, the presswoman wandered no more! Clandestine Press moved into a shared studio in San Francisco’s fabulous Mission District in early 2012. Shortly thereafter and with some more crazy luck, a sweet little press made its way into the shop and quickly became the workhorse of the business (apart from the french press, that is…). In the following years, more equipment has come our way as we’ve expanded.

Our first press was built in 1921 by the Chandler & Price company and was a model used extensively in commercial print until the rise of offset lithography in the 1950s. (What is letterpress, anyway?) Though the Chandler & Price platen presses were originally operated with a foot treadle, our 8 x 12″ C&P has been outfitted with handy motor which saves this grateful lady a good deal of worry that one leg will become inordinately stronger than the other. Though the presses move by way of the motor, the actual printing is done by hand, by feeding sheets of paper into the press one at a time. Danger = glamor.

In 2014, we got incredibly lucky and were able to bring in a Vandercook model 219 (built in 1945), greatly increasing our potential print size and generally proving itself to be a fantastically well-built piece of machinery that instantly began pulling its own weight (2400lbs, to be exact) in the shop.

In early 2015, we moved north to Ukiah, a darling town in the wine country two hours North of San Francisco and an hour East of the historic town of Mendocino. We’ve settled into our new digs quickly and are over the moon to have 1400 square feet all to ourselves! Since the move, we’ve added a 1955 Heidelberg windmill, a Kwikprint suitcase-style stamper and a 6-color screen printing press. Many new projects and offerings are coming to the shop, so stay tuned!

 A Quick Note About Ecological Practices: We are 100% committed to printing fabulous things without sacrificing others. All Clandestine Press cards are printed on a tree-free stock made from cotton linters – a byproduct of the cotton industry that is recognized by the EPA as a recovered fiber – that can be recycled with traditional paper. This stock, among other ecologically produced and sourced papers, is also our preferred and encouraged stock for weddings, business cards and other event and packaging pieces. We also use low VOC, non-toxic inks and press washes and are obsessive recycling sorters!