a personal blog for Jamey Alea


Letterpress printing is something that had mildly interested me for a long time, but when I was finally able to actually learn it in early 2021, it changed my life in a much more profound way than I expected. The first time I made a poster on a Vandercook press and got to hold the physical object that I made, I just got this intense sense that this is what I was meant to be doing. And since then, it has been!

I learned letterpress at my home studio, Book Arts in downtown Buffalo, NY, and that is where I’ve done most of my work since, including a Studio Residency spanning from January to March 2022. I’m also a teaching artist there, leading workshops on the small platen presses. I’m extremely fortunate to call Book Arts my home studio, as it’s an incredible resource and a warm, welcoming community. We have three vintage Vandercook presses, several more small platen presses, and a truly impressive type library (as well as a separate, full screenprinting studio).

My studio residency project at Book Arts was called the Tarot of Sorts, and it is by far the largest artistic project I’ve ever undertaken. I designed and hand printed a 28 card tarot deck, consisting of the 22 traditional major arcana cards, plus 6 bonus cards invented by me. There was an exhibition for the Tarot of Sorts at Book Arts on March 18th, 2022. The hand-printed deck exists in a limited run of 35 decks, but in May 2022, I also ran a successful kickstarter that allowed me to have a 500-deck print run made of reproduction decks with corresponding guidebooks. (I’ve also written a couple articles and did an interview about my work on this project, if you’re interested in a more in-depth look at my process!)

In addition to this project, I’ve also printed a variety of posters, prints, invitations, business cards and other various paraphenelia. Posters are my favorite thing to make, as historical protest posters are a big part of what got me interested in letterpress in the first place. Here are some other examples of prints that I have made:

I also did a shorter artist residency in May 2022, at Zygote Press in Cleveland, OH, which I also wrote about. I’ve also produced a couple of videos about my process on different specific machines.

Everything pictured on this page is available for sale and I’m also open for commissions. Please contact me if you’re interested!