Brad Vetter: graphic designer, letterpress printer and occasional maker of great things

Brad Vetter is a designer, artist, educator and master printer in the field of letterpress printmaking. After studying graphic design at Western Kentucky University, Brad spent eight years honing his craft at the legendary Hatch Show Print in Nashville, TN, one of the oldest continually operating letterpress shops in the country. During his tenure at Hatch he was able to merge his love of the handmade and vintage design in printing projects for his favorite bands (Arcade Fire, My Morning Jacket and Wilco) and the coolest clients (Nike and Anthropologie).

After Hatch, Brad became an independent printer and designer under the mantle Brad Vetter Design. Bouncing between 18th and 21st century technology and techniques, he continues to hand print rock-and-roll posters while also adding more digital design to his repertoire. Brad frequently lectures and hosts workshops throughout the US as well as teaching college-level design classes. His print work has been shown in such notable venues as the San Francisco MoMA, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Columbia College Center for Book and Paper, and the Danish Museum of Media.

Brad newly resides in Louisville, Kentucky where he is excited to become a part of the community while spreading the gospel of letterpress to the masses.

Select Client List:

Nike, Fossil, Anthropologie, Ryman Auditorium, Penguin Books, Texas Tourism, Domtar Paper, AARP Magazine, Head Snowboards, Lost Highway Records, Garden & Gun Magazine, Boonville Cider House, Kickstand Productions, Rebel Wine Co., Fatz Cafe, Red Star Merchandise, Signal Ridge Vineyard

See a list of Exhibitions and Curriculum Vitae

Stay connected & see up-to-date work and in-process photos via my INSTAGRAM

Process: Letterpress

Letterpress (best described by Jim Sheradden of Hatch Show Print) is simply "Letters pressed into paper with ink in between".  Antique presses (I use a Vandercook Universal 1 circa 1965 and a Golding Pearl No. 3 circa 1890) are used to transfer ink and apply pressure to hand-set movable type and images (a collection of wood and lead type,old advertising cuts and new images carved from wood or linoleum). Each print is hand-cranked, one piece of paper at a time/one color at a time, through the press. All of the type/images are set and designed by hand, there is little to no use of a computer in the process at all. The invention of movable type predates Gutenberg, however, that guy gets a lot of the credit. This process of being able to reuse individual/printable letterforms revolutionized the way we as humans communicate. Today, the stakes are not quite as high, but people all over the world are waking up, once again, to the idea of printing letterpress. As we delve deeper into this digital world, it is nice to see, touch, hold, feel, smell something that is made by a human, someone who put love and skill into creating a tangible piece of printed ephemera. 

Learn More Here: 

Letterpress Commons: community driven letterpress resource

Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum: maker of wood type turned museum

Hatch Show Print: show poster print shop continually operating since 1879

Briar Press: the craigslist of letterpress.

Brad Vetter's letterpress studio at Hope Mills Collaborative in Louisville, KY. 

Brad Vetter's letterpress studio at Hope Mills Collaborative in Louisville, KY.