What We Do
Rise and Shine, LLC is a printer of fine, hand-crafted stationery. Our vintage printing equipment has been extracted from dusty garages and forgotten industrial zones from New Jersey to New Orleans. These vastly different places were united by the need for the printed page, and we exist to carry on the tradition of craft practiced by those who ran our machines in the decades before us.
Letterpress printing exists at the crossroads of art and mass production. We print in relatively small batches, which allows us to practice obsessive attention to detail, and careful control over the process. The result is stationery that is truly unique— both a valuable communication tool and a work of art.
Our enthusiasm for our process carries over to our desire to provide value for our clients. We evaluate our success on the achievement of our clients’ goals, and we rely on positive recommendations to win new business.
Who We Are
Rise and Shine Letterpress was started in 2006 by Leslie Graham and Ryan Howell.
Leslie is a graduate of Philadelphia University, where she earned a BS in Graphic Design Communications. Ryan attended Rowan University where he studied Advertising and Public Relations. Before starting Rise and Shine, Ryan worked as a copywriter for a few ad agencies in Philadelphia. Leslie worked as a graphic designer at Olin, an internationally-recognized landscape architecture firm.
How It Happened
It started innocently enough. Leslie’s sister sent her a letterpress-printed birthday card. Then she showed it to Ryan. After that, life was never the same.
“I wonder if I could build a printing press,” he pondered. Instead, as fate would have it, a retired printer was advertising a 1912 Chandler and Price letterpress machine on Craigslist. Before they knew it, they rented a box truck, filled it with diesel and headed for destiny.
The journey was fraught with disaster. First the pallet jack fell out of the truck (Ryan forgot to close the door). Then they couldn’t find the printer’s house. Finally they arrived and saw the beautiful machine in all of its rusty glory. “Surely things will go smoothly from here,” they thought.
And they did! It was mostly luck. They were able to find an affordable studio space at Art Making Machine Studios in Philadelphia. And thanks to meeting the right people during an open studio event, they were discovered by a writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. A Sunday feature got the word out, and they found that Philly was hot for letterpress.
Then on a visit back to her hometown of Alexandria, Louisiana, Leslie found the perfect studio space, with a storefront, plenty of room, and an apartment upstairs. They were sad to leave Philly, but Alexandria presented an opportunity that couldn’t be found anywhere else. So they crated up all the machines, and filled yet another box truck with diesel and dreams.