sneak peek: studio tour (hammerpress)


next up we have personal favorite of mine – hammerpress. i first love them because they’re based out of kansas city (where i spent 8 quality formative years of my life), and, more importantly, for their vibrant letterpress work with bold typography that’s all about having fun. today founder brady vest shares a look inside this wonderful letterpress studio that definitely reflects their work and style. if you don’t have a chance to make it to kansas city anytime soon to visit their shop (don’t forget the kansas city design guide!), you can also find their work online. click here for loads more images. [thanks brady and crew!]anne

[Above: A view of the shop from across Southwest Boulevard. the building is… very old. i don’t know how old. our friend and neighbor, jeff owens, owns the building and it was used by him originally for set building, which he used to do. i believe it was originally used as a machine shop that build really heavy military equipment years and years ago. the are we are in is the primary arts district of kansas city – the “crossroads”. it’s made up mostly of large warehouse buildings and in the last five years or so has become subject to “developement”, which as we know is a double edged sword. we’ve been in this area for the last ten years and were lucky enough to find this great space on a prime corner of the area.]

this is just a good overall view of the front of the studio. we’re lucky to have a good sized storefront area in the shop with good light. (client meeting area to left).

hp2.jpgThe “mission command” of our listening station.2171.jpg
all of the signs in the shop are hand cut and spraypainted stencils. we try to do everything we can by hand in the shop, from the signage on the fronf of the building which is handpainted to the price tags which are handtyped. we go for slow!

A detail of the fine craftsmanship of our Business Card Bar. Designed & Constructed by the Utilitarian Workshop.

Just a squirrel trying to get a nut (in a non-descript corner of the shop).

“Sweetie” notecard displayed on one of our antique typewriters.

this is a wall in our client meeting area, which is mostly used for meeting with wedding clients. this wall is covered with vintage photographs we’ve been collecting. most of them are old wedding photographs although some are just vaguely romantic in some way. it kind of has the look of old paint flaking off the wall.


  1. Jen says:

    This post gave me goosebumps because this is just the kind of shop I hope to open in Seattle.

    Go Letterpress!!!

  2. James says:

    What a great space. I love all of the warm, weathered surfaces.

  3. Courtney says:

    Wow, I wish I had a trip to Kansas City planned! The store looks like so much fun—I’d love to know more about the business card bar…

  4. shing says:

    This is a gorgeous studio. And I like the squirrel and his nut.

  5. Uncle Beefy says:

    I met these guys years ago at the National Stationery Show and their space totally reflects them…stylish & put together, but warm & approachable. LOVE their stuff, love their space! Yup, a lotta love here. :)

  6. Jim says:

    I love how the unique aesthetic of their cards / paper goods is reflected in the physical shop. Very nice space.

  7. Alli Rense says:

    What a lovely space! It would be so easy to go completely nuts creatively in there with the atmosphere that they have.

  8. Megan says:

    Thank you for featuring them. I love the atmosphere of their shop, and their work is amazing. I can’t wait to go back and visit again, and this post might make it sooner rather than later! Great pix too…

  9. jessica ann says:

    Love these guys! And that space! And I love anyone that sticks to the midwest and makes it even cooler. Love the classy D.I.Y. feel. Go Hammerpress!

  10. christine says:

    i love hammerpress! and their studio is no different.

  11. Shelly says:

    I LOVE Hammerpress!!! I’m so glad you found it! And the Utilitarian Workshop does AMAZING interiors!

  12. Danny says:

    If there is a perfect place to work it would be at Hammerpress!!!
    so inspiring to see inside such a creative place

  13. what an incredibly beautiful shop!~

  14. Steph says:

    This looks like such a cool shop! I love the idea of a “Business Card Bar”!

  15. hildA says:

    just gorgeous

  16. Jodi says:

    I would want to have my home attached since I would never want to leave there!

  17. brand-eye says:

    what an amazing space. i love it.

  18. Diane Zerr says:

    Gorgeous, I’m so envious!

  19. sarah says:

    Holy cow, that place is amazing. I’d love (!) to have a shop even close to that awesome.

  20. katie e. says:

    this is fantastic – so much more spacious than the old shop they moved out of!

  21. Valentina says:

    oh my god!! faboulous coloured console!!! i adore it!

  22. Marion says:

    As a KC native, it thrills me to see Hammerpress on d*s. I always end up spending way too much money here.

  23. Alissa says:

    Oh I’m so excited you posted this! Hammerpress is just down the street – its absolutely the most amazing business and fabulous space. Yeah for the KC shout out:)

  24. lush says:

    the space is even better in person! i’ve used their letterpressed pillow boxes in the past to package my jewelry, and just love their work!

  25. Lizz says:

    I miss their old turquoise doorway, but the new space is beautiful! (and so much bigger!)

  26. geez brady you have come a loooong way from biding your time reconstructing a jj walker doll with are still dyn-o-mite!

  27. Kenny says:

    The new space looks way bigger than the previous spot. Looks great! Next time I’m in town I’m totally dropping by.

  28. very nice love the antique…

  29. Kerstin says:

    badda bing awesome!

  30. Lucy says:

    Wow….I never had a clue that Hammerpress was in KC. I will have to find it this December when I go north to shop! Thanks for sharing. Absolutely divine.

  31. Courtney says:

    As an avid letterpress lover, I was lucky enough to see a few demos by Brady while at the art institute; his work has just gotten better (and it was good then!)
    Nice to see the studio, thanks d*s for another fabulous article.

  32. Casey McGarr says:

    Hammer Press rocks!!! Really talented and great printed pieces.

  33. sara says:

    love hammerpress, love kc. good to see them featured on d*s.

  34. vicki says:

    yup! Great store…My daughter used to live across the street from them and introduced me to them!

    Very cooool!


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