Vandercook Centenary Print Bundle

Invitation Closed–goal reached– wait list established. This is the official invitation to participate in the Vandercook Centenary Print Bundle, a limited edition exchange of letterpress prints celebrating the first one hundred years of Vandercook proof presses (1909-2009). The goal is to exchange one hundred prints between one hundred Vandercook operators.

Please pledge your commitment to this project by September 1, 2008.
Prints must be received by August 16, 2009.


One hundred years of Vandercook proof presses (1909-2009)


  • 8 1/2 x 11 inches (any weight or color paper)
  • No limit to number of ink colors
  • Please include a one inch left margin to allow for potential binding (by recipients)
  • Please include the following in the design or colophon:

  • Press model
  • Serial number
  • Name of proprietor
  • Name of the press
  • Location (City State/Province Country)
  • A description of materials: e.g. paperstock, metal and/or wood type, plate material etc.
  • Shipping Checklist:

  • 110 prints
  • A self-addressed mailing label
  • $15 USD for return shipping addresses in North America (check, money order or PayPal)
  • $40 USD for all return addresses outside of North America (check, money order or PayPal)
  • Ship by August 16, 2009 to:

    Vandercook Print Bundle
    c/o Paul Moxon
    1059 Chalet Drive W.
    Mobile AL 36608 USA

    Names of pledging participants are posted on the Print Bundle Roster page.

    Questions? Please select the comments link at the top of this post

    Vandercook Centenary Print Bundle
    Tagged on:

    13 thoughts on “Vandercook Centenary Print Bundle

    • August 24, 2008 at 10:03 am

      Yes, Klaudio, if you are printing multiples on a Vandercook then your particular methods, whatever they may be, are valid. So if, you’re in and we will have our 100 printers then I will close the roster.

    • August 24, 2008 at 9:18 am

      I tend to use my vandercook for printing methods that it wasn’t designed to do. (I hope this is not too offensive to the loyal orthodox out there). I just do it as part of my creative process. Since the theme is 100 years of Vandercook Proof Presses, I thought I had better ask if deviations in printing methods would be seen as standing outside this theme. Personally, I think it is entirely part of the theme, since within the past 100 years we have seen printing presses of all sorts pass from industry into the hands of artists, who then often deviate from their intended use. I see this transition as part of the life of a press. Mine, actually, was saved from the trash by a professor when the local industry switched to digital years ago –and eventually I came to own it. Anyway, please let me know how you feel about this. I think it would make a good expression of the theme, but if it’s not wanted I would prefer to know before I start printing my bundle.

    • July 8, 2008 at 2:45 pm

      Yes, I will post on other lists in a day or two after I sense that the membership here have had their chance to pledge. I did send a group email announcement to Vandercook operator with whom I have corresponded, but who are not registered blog members, including several working outside of the U.S. I expect to add a few more Brits and Australians soon. Continental European, Asian, and South American Vandercook operators are harder to locate. But we do have one pledge from Israel and one from South Africa.

    • July 8, 2008 at 2:19 pm

      Fear? “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win for fearing to attempt”

      It looks like it’s nicely gaining momentum – will you be posting the invitation on Briar press etc?

    • Pingback:Letterpress/Vandercook Printers -

    • July 7, 2008 at 9:26 pm

      I think it would help to have a reference to the “centenary” or “centennial” or 1909-2009 in the colophon at the very least if not in the design. Especially if you share copies of your print independent of the bundle. The main thing is to stay with the theme, however you interpret it.

      I don’t want to make a specific term a requirement if only to avoid tedium. For example, one doesn’t have to use the word Vandercook in the main design if somehow the idea was conveyed, say by an image of a press (which I’m sure we’ll see in abundance). I’d love to encourage a little arcana in celebrating this thing of ours.

      This from
      “centennial, centenary (adjs., nn.) Americans use centennial as both parts of speech, whereas the British are said to use centenary more as a noun.”

      As a bit of an anglophile, I like centenary but hope to see some folks use centennial just to mix it up.

      I love the enthusiasm and thoughtfuness for this project I’m hearing from everyone. Fear not for quality John Christopher.

    • July 7, 2008 at 8:32 pm


      Is there any title that needs to be included, should we use “Centenary”?
      Just curious,


    • July 6, 2008 at 9:10 am

      OK the post is modified. I hope that the concept is clear now. I changed the name of the page listing the pledging printers to “Print Bundle Roster.”

    • July 6, 2008 at 5:52 am

      Paul, as you have gallantly volunteered to collate the prints I’m sure you’re bound to be thinking through the logistics and a race was never your intention.

      I think we’ve nailed down the spec so let’s get a head count of pledges by a certain date, announcing the project here, on Briar and Letpress and wherever else you feel is suitable. Then we can see whether we are over or under. We may have to start gently persuading people to come on board. The twisting of arms or the horses head at the end of the bed can come later:-)

      How about the 1st of September 2008 as the first deadline for pledging a commitment.

      The August 16th 2009 shipping deadline sounds fine – as you are the collator the date should be whatever is convenient for you.

      Thanks for everybody’s thoughts and contributions so far – it’s an exciting and fun project and I look forward to working with you all on it. And thanks again Paul for your considerable efforts – the project would not be possible without this website.

    • July 5, 2008 at 5:50 pm

      It’s certainly not my intent to create a race. I thought that I had found a middle way by posting the names of pledges on a new print bundle roster page. However a pledge does not equal follow through, of course we’re 13 months away.

      Perhaps the announcement was premature, but I had thought that the comments on John’s original post had sufficiently shaped the project, and my independent requests for guidance yielded little.

      Assuming a surge will not work, should we get a head count by a certain date be it higher or lower than 100, then announce a required total?

      The potential is much lower that 1200, if only because there are numerous multiple owners many of which are schools, arts centers and businesses, although by no means am I saying only owners can participate. Proprietors, teachers, students, renters and employees are equally welcome.

    • July 5, 2008 at 3:04 pm

      Whilst I appreciate there has to be a participant cut-off given you have 1200+ potential vandercook participants out there Paul, I think that creating a ‘race’ to get the prints in is not the best way to limit the participants to 100 – it creates a deadline feel to the project and may potentially encourage people to sacrifice quality in order to submit early.

      Personally I would prefer potential participants to devote a little thinking time on this project – its a unique project which requires suitable due care and attention in terms of the conceptual development and practical execution of the finished item.

      In that case surely a ‘first to pledge’ model where the first 100 to publicly pledge a commitment to the project are guaranteed a place would ensure a qualitative approach rather than a ‘get the prints in early at all cost’ approach. I’m beginning to feel the pressure already!

      Additionally some people might wish to explore a collaborative approach to the project with other printers which may take more time to develop.

      If it transpires there are over 100 willing participants ready to pledge a commitment then yes it creates a headache, but it is not insurmountable – a ‘second edition’ may materialise for instance. (I’m not expecting you to collate that one as well Paul.)

      On the other hand if we go ahead with a
      ‘first to submit’ model then it’s guaranteed the sender of number 101 parcel on the mat is going to be rather disappointed.

      It is a thorny issue but it needs to be settled beforehand – if people are going to commit time and expense to the project then they should be certain of inclusion. So I guess my position is – let’s get a feel for numbers by getting people to pledge rather than limiting participants to those people who are quick off the mark.

    • July 5, 2008 at 12:33 pm

      Valid question. I don’t expect to receive prints from more that 100 participants. If I do then there would be a second bundle. But, yes if needed there will be a second chance offer with a new extended due date.

      There has to be a participant cut-off because, unlike APA which has a fixed number of members, this forum allows all comers.

    • July 5, 2008 at 12:06 pm

      Hi Paul,

      I hope I won’t make your head hurt even worse by asking this question. The official notice says that the bundle will consist of the first 100 sets
      shipped. Does this mean that more than 100 printers might be creating pages, but only the first 100 shipped will be accepted? If so this puts serious time pressure on the participants, which might affect quality. I don’t think participants want a bunch of thrown-together things. I would have no problem getting my prints in by the due date, but if I thought I had to rush to have them accepted, I would have to bow out because I’m slow (why else would I choose a Vandercook?). I wouldn’t want to go through all that work only to learn that someone else was the 100th printer to ship.

      Maybe if 100 printers commit but only 90 submissions are received by the due date, there could be a “second chance” offer open to the next 10 printers who committed, with a new extended due date. The extended due date would not be very long. The 10 printers on the “waiting list” would know who they are and would have had lots of time at least to think about their submission.

      Sorry for bringing up this thorny issue,

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.