Colby Poster Printing Co.

Going for a taco on a saturday afternoon in Los Angeles’ Glendale area, you might come across a wonderful poster like this one. Yes, you’re looking at letterpress!

Few commercial companies still works with classic printing tools, but Colby Poster Printing Co. is one of them. Please come inside…

Photo left courtesy Space 15 Twenty Gallery

Colby Printing Co. is family owned and operated since 1946 in downtown Los Angeles.

Colby is able to produce all kinds of outdoor advertising and other utility printing. Their core business seems to be the design and production of election bills and posters that announce local community events.

Glen, the proprietor, likes to talk about his business, and is generously taking his time to show me around the shop.

The gradient fluorescent colours that seems to be one of Colby’s trademarks, are screenprinted (split fountain) on an automatic table.

As a next step, the gradients are typically overprinted in black, using wooden and metal type.

Typecases in full operation are a rare sight in commercial shops these days…

Photo left courtesy Space 15 Twenty Gallery

Heidelberg press and a huge Undercut electric cutter to finish off the work.

Fresh printjobs ready to be picked up by clients.

And finally, the stuff I’d been looking for: vintage metal letterpress clich├ęs, used over and over again, and given new context with every new events.

That was fall 2009…
Unfortunately Colby Poster Printing was discontinued December 2012.

More information:
In The Good Name of the Company – Brian Roettiger et. al.
3 Union Shop – The Colby Poster Printing Company – MOCA U – MOCAtv

November 16th, 2009
, Posted in Reports, Techniques