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Letterpress Studio, Retail Shop Opens In Logan Square

By Paul Biasco | June 9, 2016 5:40am
 Steel Petal Press opened a storefront letterpress print shop in Logan Square.
Steel Petal Press
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LOGAN SQUARE — Shayna Norwood's hulking letterpress machines each have their own name and a new home on Milwaukee Avenue.

There's Penelope, Jaws, Sweetie and Leonard.

Norwood's Steel Petal Press, a storefront that is both letterpress studio and retail shop, opened June 1 at 2321 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Customers to the new shop will be able to buy custom cards created on vintage letterpress machines while seeing how those cards were made.

For the past five years the Logan Square resident had operated her letterpress business out of a number of studios around the city.

The last was a tiny 500-square-foot studio in Pilsen.

The new space is three times the size.

"In our other space we were literally moving stacks of paper around to get to other stacks of paper," Norwood said.

The new Milwaukee Avenue storefront is a bit of a new flagship for the operation.

Steel Petal Press focuses on greeting cards and wedding invitations and supplies cards to about 200 retail businesses around the country.

The hand-made cards are created on vintage machines dating back as far as 1903.

Norwood said the best part about the shop's first week has been "just having neighbors stop in who live here and being able to talk to people." 

The front of the shop features a large selection of greeting cards by both Steel Petal Press and other designers from across the country.

There are also items such as mugs, T-shirts and knickknacks from independent designers.

Norwood, who moved to Logan Square from San Francisco in 2008, said the letterpress business has seen resurgence in the past 10 years.

The larger card companies such as Hallmark are shrinking, according to Norwood.

"When someone does send a card for that special occasion, you've taken the time out to actually do it as opposed to posting to someone's Facebook page," she said. "You want the card to be really special and something that's handmade or more unique or speaks to what you want to say."

The shop and studio is hosting an opening party Saturday from 2 to 7 p.m. with music, food and letterpress demos.




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