Did people really want to hurt my feelings?

It has been 8 months since I scrapped my letterpress shop. I look back and just want to know, why people, a lot of the printers, and would be customers would walk-in see my Intertype, Ludlow, C&P, and V-50 and say this, “Oh you have all this old junk, where is the large sign printing equipment/” and walk out.

I think looking back, they were saying you are a “Big Fool!”

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I am sorry that you had this experience. Personally, as this is just a hobby for me I like “the old junk”…

I personally am not interested in large sign printing, but perhaps that is what people wanted where you are. It seems to me to be a limited market, but what do I know.

Of course I enjoy hand setting type, and think my little 4x6 Caxton is too automated and would gladly go back to my father’s Albion if I only had the room for it.

But then I am probably strange in this regard.

Again, I am sorry you had to deal with insensitive people. I wish you well.

I personally would then say to them “You truly don’t know what you are looking at or even understand just what I do in here do you”?

There are always different points of view even among printers. Some folks walk into a letterpress shop like a kid walking into a model train store. They see the 80+ years of continuous productivity, the beauty of design and engineering, and the care and precision put in by craftspeople. Others just want the latest fastest xerox machine they can get and don’t care about much else. Those who see the value are the folks who’s opinions matter. The rest are not pertinent to the discusion.


I doubt anyone wanted to hurt your feelings.

I also suspect a lot of us who do things the old, silly and objectively *harder* way recognize the type of reactions you describe.

There will always be people who don’t share our level of enthusiasm for the craft, the process, the tools. And it is important to acknowledge that while we might think of them occasionally as crude for the ways in which they make that lack of “getting it” clear, we have no right to expect other people to care about the same things we do.

That goes double for anyone running a business. The market decides and if we can’t sell our services, then that is only our fault.


Buying and selling is a whole different ball game from the art and craft of printing. I grew up in my Dad’s print shop. Once you are liquidating anything, the gloves come off.

Sorry wasn’t referring to people coming over to see what I had for sale.

I referring to having would be customers stop to see my shop and saying, you got all these old out-of-date stuff from the old days. Do you make signs? And leave!

It was a few of the customers that used to upset me.
eg that lady from the ad agency, who when passing on machine a process plus a special and a varnish sheet , =6
asked the minder for the special (a mauvy blue) to have more lift. The minder and I conspired to fool her and we got away with it sigh …

Aaron someone wanted a sign printed and you couldn’t do it so they left. No big deal.
Many printers make signs. It is common now to have large digital presses for proofs and some that cut/plot contours. They can do signs easily if they wish. When you deal with the public you have to learn to deal with what they expect. Trade work is a different story.
You need thicker skin or the crease rule will cut you.