Letterpress Printmaking Class at PLU

Elliott Press

elliottpressThe Elliott Press is a small private press located in the PLU arts building, Ingram Hall. The Press provides hands-on workshops for students in the Publishing & Printing Arts program. Founded in 1982, the Elliott Press marked its 40th Anniversary in 2022. The Elliott Press features two platen letterpresses from the early 1900s and a Vandercook proof press from the early 1960s, as well as several small, portable parlor presses, including Baby Elliott. The Press also houses more than 300 different drawers of type, each offering unique design and printing possibilities. In addition to a rich variety of fonts, book arts students will find intricately carved ornaments, stamps depicting everything from dental charts to 1920s roadsters, and an entire set of ancient medical symbols.

To see a brief video of typesetting and printing at the Elliott Press, click here.

In March 2014, the Elliott Press hosted the National Guild of Book Workers for a one-day symposium. Accompanying this event was a month-long special exhibit at the University Gallery in Ingram Hall, The Art of Wayzgoose. PPA program students still participate in the Tacoma Wayzgoose, many of whom as members of the Collective, PLU’s student-run art collective. You can find the Collective’s Instagram here.

In 2013, students in the Elliott Press created a multi-piece artist’s book, A Strange Case of Alchemical Munificence, using many of the mysterious medical symbols. This work is currently featured on the Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers website.

Each year the Book Club of Washington recognizes outstanding achievement at the Elliott Press through the Robert D. Monroe Award. Recipients are guests of honor at the Club’s annual meeting and receive a generous cash gift, as well as having their work added to the Club’s archives in the University of Washington Library.

Feeling Out of Sorts CoasterIn celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Press, a special exhibit, Pressing On: 30 Years at the Elliott Press, was held at PLU’s Mortvedt Library from November 29, 2012 to February 27, 2013. The exhibit featured broadsides, artist’s books, and printing ephemera, all created by students and instructors at the Press.

If you are interested in the a history of the early years of the Elliott Press, as well as other small regional presses, you may wish to read A Decade of Fine Printing in the Pacific Northwest(1992).

The Thorniley Collection

The Thorniley Collection of Antique Type, graciously donated to the Elliot Press by WCP Solutions, made PLU’s printing collection the Pacific Northwest’s largest. Comprised of millions of pieces of type, some unique to the collection and in total appraised at $311,300 in 2017, the collection is available for student perusal and projects. To read more about the collection’s move-in, see this article from RESOLUTE, PLU’s flagship magazine.

Video by Rustin Dwyer, 2017