9th Letter Press

American Made Since 2012

Isabel Ibanez

Winter Park, Florida
A charming, quirky Design + Letterpress Studio specializing in hand lettering, illustration + design using old fashioned printing + pretty paper.

Tell us about your business.

I fell into letterpress printing because of my nostalgic personality; I love using my 119 year old letterpress to create sweet greeting cards, wedding invitations and anything else I dream up. There is something very satisfactory knowing that I have my hand in the production process, every step of the way. From the initial sketch to hand-feeding the press one by one to cutting our paper on our guillotine cutter from 1870. For our stationery line, I typically design a card I'm in need of or haven't seen anywhere else. It usually begins with a phrase and I pair the words with an illustration that fit and that's how a card is born. 9th Letter Press will be evolving to include other items like bags, pencil cases, sticky notes, calendars, etc. I love planning new ways I can decorate notebooks, journals, and the like.

What makes your business stand out?

I'm a firm believer that there is always a nice way to say something. When it came to designing cards, I was thrilled to be able to come up with sayings that reflected my somewhat quirky and offbeat personality. The cards feature my illustrations, hand lettering style and sweet sentiments that ring true for whatever occasion you might need a card for. Once the card is designed, it then gets hand fed to our 119 year old letterpress, one by one. All of our paper products are assembled by hand in our studio based in Winter Park, Florida.

What's the best business advice you've received?

That timeless anecdote about no man being an island is completely true. Having a major role in so many areas in your business will take its toll, particularly if your tendency is to have a panic attack delegating tasks (read: this may or may not be describing me to a tee). There are resources everywhere, especially if you’re brave enough to ask for help. You’ll be surprised and moved by how much people are willing to give — whether it be proof reading an important email, hanging shelves, or packaging greeting cards, help looks like a lot of things and can come from anywhere. It really just takes letting go and asking for help.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 8, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.