July 6, 2015 • Sam Ujvary
Kathryn Hunter: Blackbird Letterpress
Blackbird Letterpress, founder
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
1. When and how did you start working in this business?
I started Blackbird after the purchase of a C&P 8×12 letterpress in 2003. I had learned letterpress printing in graduate school. I bought the press and then moved in with friends’ house (they had room for me and the press) and started printing. I started with custom printing and then slowly developed a wholesale line, which was launched in full force in 2010.
2. What is your signature style?
I would say Blackbird’s style is quirky animal illustrations turned into die cut cards, as well as vintage-inspired ephemera.
3. What are your most popular stationery offerings?
The animal die cut cards are our most popular items. They are die cut in the shape of various animals and they have die cut arms or paws where they can hold gift cards, money, love notes, etc. Our second most popular products are the handmade notebook/journals. Each cover is letterpress printed, scored and glued to a recycled paper text block. The designs range from US states, original animal linocuts, and constellation illustrations.
4. Please share the direction your line will be taking.
Who knows! Probably we will make more vintage-inspired paper toys, 3-D DIY cards that make into other forms of transportation (currently we have made a station wagon, van, and two campers), and more animal gift cards.
5. What are your top three tips for success?
Hmmmm, I would say, perseverance, patience and motivation.