location: Los Angeles, CA
specialty: letterpress stationery and paper goods
The first sound you hear while standing outside the door of Rosanna and Joel Kvernmo’s letterpress shop in Downtown Los Angeles is the clicking and clacking of their 125+ year old press. After brief greetings inside, the machine immediately takes center stage. If I could put into words how intricate and beautiful the operation of their machine is, I would be a far better writer than I am today. It was amazing to think that this machine was designed without even a basic electric motor (let alone any sort of computer automation) and 125 years later, still functions exactly as it did when it first rolled out of the factory. Of course, over the years, their press has received a motor and they added a brain to regulate the speed of the machine, but the thought that at one point in time this machine was functionally identical as today with absolutely no electrical input is fascinating. Founded in Seattle in 2007, Rosanna and Joel packed up shop and moved to LA in 2012. After a stint at a pop-up shop in Westwood through The Hammer Museum’s reSTORE LA project, Iron Curtain Press has found its new home in Downtown LA. With their combination of traditional printing methods and modern design, the craftsmanship behind Iron Curtain Press’s paper goods is the perfect way to set your business’s stationery apart.