My focus, this month, is of course on independent publishers; and that’s a term that can actually cover a wider range of imprints. There are those who publish on a fairly normal commercial scale, selling in the traditional way; there are smaller outfits who sell via their own websites as well as the traditional outlets; there are presses who produce their own works, often printing and binding by hand; and then there are what I would call really niche presses who issue limited items which as well as being interesting texts are also beautiful objects in their own right. Renard Press are doing that with many of their pamphlet style issues; but today I wanted to just share some images of a lovely item I obtained at the end of last year from Half Print Press.

As I’ve mentioned before on the blog, I came across HPP last year during the Great Harvill Leopard Hunt; Tim, the man behind the Press, was instrumental in pulling together the final reference list of Leopards and has created a wonderful website listing them – you can see that here and it’s most definitely worth checking out. However, Half Pint Press itself deserves exploration as they really do produce some lovely objects!

The cover of the Stein handprinted edition

As the website explains, HPP’s projects are mainly produced using letterpress printing; this is an old established method of printing which had gone out of fashion but is having something of a revival as a skilled handicraft. I currently own one HPP edition, a small chapbook of Gertrude Stein’s “Vacation In Brittany” and it’s quite gorgeous, as you can see from the image above.

Interior decoration

“Vacation…” is printed on an Adana eight-five press (which sounds very exotic!) and as well as the text has some additional lovely decorations by Lupe Nunez. The paper is thick, textured and quite beautiful. So the result is an all-round beautiful artefact and I may well have to explore the HPP website to see if there any more titles which appeal!

An example of the gorgeous paper in this lovely object

In realistic terms, this kind of printing is never going to be ideal for all types of book; printing the latest Hilary Mantel by this method would be rather laborious I feel…. However, the handmade adds something special to a work and if it’s possible to produce something like this I highly approve! There is room for all sorts of indies in the publishing world and here’s to outfits like Half Pint Press and the beautiful printed objects they produce!