At a time when everything seems to be possible from the keys of an ultra-thin laptop, Nick Baute and Robert Ronk pride themselves on their handcrafted products and the lengthy process they use to make them.
Nick and Robert own Hound Dog Press, a custom letterpress printing shop in Louisville, Kentucky. Letterpress printing, one of the earliest and most artistic forms of printing, involves using raised surfaces to transfer an image onto paper. At Hound Dog Press, Nick and Robert bring together age-old processes and modern flair to craft exquisite typefaces and images for custom wedding invitations, business cards greeting cards, posters and more.
Nick and Robert met in college at the University of Kentucky, where they both earned their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking, but they didn’t come up with the idea of Hound Dog Press right away. After graduating, Nick moved to New York to work at a unique 19th century letterpress shop. When he started out on his own in 2004, he moved back to Kentucky, where Robert joined him to open Hound Dog Press, their very own letterpress shop in downtown Louisville.
Although letterpress images can be digitally produced nowadays, Nick and Robert still choose to carve many of the images by hand. When making the design by hand, they can easily spend weeks carving each letter and detail until the image is ready for printing. Doing so doesn’t necessarily lead to a perfect image, but the end result is an artistic, high-quality print designed specifically for the client.
With Hound Dog Press, Nick and Robert have successfully turned their love of art into a niche local business that represents the diversity and innovation of small businesses nationwide. To see the difference that handcrafted letterpress printing makes, watch this video and visit Nick and Robert’s website at www.hounddogpress.com.