Despite my oh-so Gen-Y/21st century dependency on new technology and online communities, I am still enamoured by printed products; receiving handwritten letters in the mail, writing in an actual paper notebook and reading a physical novel are things that make my heart leap with joy. In an increasingly digital world, it seems that paper products are becoming obsolete. After all, why bother getting invitations printed out when you can just send an e-vite?
This is where The Distillery comes in, re-introducing Australia to the art of letterpress and design. The team at the Distillery is a small one, but they are dedicated to producing quality papergoods, ranging from business cards, wedding stationery, greeting cards and limited edition prints. They offer their design services to those who are looking to print beautiful stationery/business cards/posters/letterheads/etc. A full list of the kinds of paper goods The Distillery can provide for your commercial enterprise can be found here, and they also able to cater to the needs of design studios. The Distillery’s ultimate goal is to nurture and grow the Letterpress community in Sydney, with plans to launch workshops, classes and meetups based on the art of letterpress later this year.
The Distillery is mainly based in a small studio in North Sydney, with a large portion of the space dominated by Wolfgang, their platen press, a Heidelberg Windmill that was rescued and restored by co-founder Nathan. The rest of the studio contains a few shelves displaying work they produced for past clients and a few zany robots, as well as a couple workbenches behind a counter.
I was fortunate enough to attend one of their launch parties/demos last week, where they served canapes and drinks, served in a room above the shop. The had Mario Kart on N64 set up on a quirky/kitschy Cars-themed television, a couple guitars propped up against the wall, t-shirts for sale and a paper wall-mural with pens in a pot, inviting guests to scribble their thoughts or drawings on it.
(here is the space I would stick some photographs of the things mentioned above, but I am a terrible blogger and took photographs of none of those things that night. HUUUR!)
They also did a demonstration on Wolfgang by printing out some logos people had the option of sending in with their RSVP’s. As the finished products made their way around the room, I admired just how beautifully the graphics turned out, and was mildly amused to see that someone had sent the Hogwarts crest in to be printed.
At the end of the night, each guest got a bag full of papergoods printed specifically for the occasion. The bag was filled with The Distillery coasters, a mini-2012 calendar, a small notebook (the cover of which was made of brewery hops — essentially, beer :P), a paper monster, a build-it-yourself paper model of The Distillery’s printing press, Wolfgang, and of course, a pamphlet showcasing paper products printed by The Distillery, with a list of prices in the back. Small companies and potential clients also got a small wooden box filled with more samples and paper swatches, which I thought looked pretty neat.
Again, I didn’t take any pictures of the boxes, because I’m the worst! But I did take pictures of the papergoods that I got!
In short: if you got some things that need printing and or/designing, check out The Distillery. Just drop by their North Sydney studio, and I’m sure one of the staff would be glad to have a chat with you (everyone there is super-friendly!).