About Flora and Fauna Press
Flora and Fauna Press is an artisan letterpress printing studio located in Los Angeles, founded in 2006 by artist Christine Brandt. Christine’s devotion to letterpress is reflected in the company’s philosophy, keeping true to the traditions of printmaking and painting. Her unique designs center around original hand-drawn illustrations where Christine applies her passion for the natural world to letterpress wedding invitations, letterpress announcements and her own line of letterpress stationery.
Christine studied printmaking and the art of letterpress printing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she received her B.F.A. in Fine Arts. She continued her studies at graduate school at the University of Madison Wisconsin, receiving a M.A. in Studio Art. In Madison she worked for the esteemed Tandem press where she learned (among other skills) the art of matching ink colors by sight. A few years later she completed her M.F.A. at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Los Angeles.
After graduating from CalArts, Christine chose to begin a business utilizing her extensive art education. Flora and Fauna has been going strong since 2006, some of the highlights being; a L.A. Times Small Business Makeover article, a Daily candy blurb, and showcasing her skills for her own wedding.
Remembering fondly her days in art school, working on an antique Vandercook letterpress, she sought out to find one. However, with the advent of modern printing technology, most were sold for scrap in the last several decades and they were becoming hard to find and competition for the few remaining was fierce. After searching high and low, she finally discovered someone who had moved a number of these sought after presses out to a printer’s graveyard in the middle of the Nevada desert.
Christine and her husband left from Los Angeles with a moving truck and low expectations. Upon arrival at the “salvage yard”, their expectations were confirmed when it was learned that these presses for sale had been outside, exposed the harsh desert elements for 23 years. Nevertheless, they purchased the best one in the lot and began the extensive restoration process to bring “Rusty” as he had become known, back to life.
The remainder of the summer was spent sanding, grinding, lubricating and painting Rusty. Much blood, sweat and tears were shed during the restoration, which took place during the height of the summer. After months of work, and a little help from Bob of The Crawford Company, one of the few remaining repairmen of this type of machinery, the press was finally ready for printing.
At Flora and Fauna Press we strive to conceive and produce high quality goods through traditional and meaningful forms of art-making, and responsible business practices. Each piece of stationery is hand-fed and printed on 'Rusty', our 1957 Vandercook press. We started this company only after years of training and experience, knowing that our clients and customers expect and deserve the very best, not someone who is learning at their expense. That being said, there are always new things to learn, and that is what make this exciting for us! We love what we do because we are confident that we provide the highest quality and extra personal customer service. This is not solely a business enterprise but also a labor of love.
We are an eco-friendly letterpress. Flora and Fauna Press is committed to stocking premium eco-friendly 100% cotton tree-free paper, recycled paper, and recycled handmade papers. We believe that being evironmentally friendly is not just something one says to sell products, but it something we do because we take responsiblity for ourselves. That means understanding the big picture of how we impact the world and one another, and trying to make the best decisions possible.
We love animals, especially adopted ones, and we donate portions of our proceeds to the humane society, and petfinder.com foundation.
Letterpress printing began in the mid 1400s following the invention of movable type by Johannes Gutenberg. The image is pressed deeply into the soft, thick paper creating a 3-dimensional, textured surface. A raised surface is created from lead type, wood type, or polymer plates. This 'relief' surfaced is inked and paper is printed with great pressure, creating the lovely debossed surface unique to letterpress printing.Letterpress is more time consuming than most printing processes, and because each color run is separate, inks are usually limited to two or three colors. The best letterpress printing will be clean and crisp, and the best design for letterpress should be bold and modern, or elegant and simple.