Greenwich Letterpress

Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
Type of Place: Print Shops Stationery

It’s hard not to be nostalgic for handmade stationary and cards in a time that never stops short of embracing advancements in electronic communication. That’s why Greenwich Letterpress, a West Village print shop and design studio, feels so attractive in our digital age. With a hearty selection of printed items made the old-fashioned way—in letterpress—visiting the store is like stepping back into a simpler time when people shared fewer distractions and a greater sense of personal style.

Greenwich Letterpress is family-owned and operated, and was started by sisters Amy Swanson and Beth Salvini in 2006. After years of studying art and graphic design, the pair decided to embark on a path familiar to their family for generations—they opened their very own print shop like their father and grandfather had done years earlier. Today, Swanson custom designs letterpress invitations and Salvini curates the vast array of unique gift items that fill out the retail store. And the partnership couldn’t be more successful. In just a few years, the sisters’ handmade stationary business has become the gem of the industry with plenty of positive attention and press from Martha Stewart and the editors of New York, Lucky, and Brides Magazines.

While walking through the historic West Village, stop in to see what all the fuss is about. You’ll soon discover that the sisters’ creations of gorgeous hand-printed cards, memo pads, calendars, invitations and announcements are lovely to look at and impressive to hold. You can almost feel the moment that the blocks were pressed into the fine papers to produce one-of-a-kind ephemera that feels like it was passed down from your grandmother. Unlike modern print processes, letterpress printing actually embosses the paper, creating a tactile experience for the recipient and one not likely to be quickly forgotten or dismissed.

Letterpress is the perfect printing solution for people who want to stand above the crowd, especially when creating custom wedding invitations, baby and shower announcements, save-the-date and RSVP cards, and more. Even those without an extravagant occasion coming up can join in the fun: we love the shop’s selection of everyday greeting cards, priced from $4, as well as its “Food Snob” place cards, $14, “Mad Props” thank-you notes, $14, and “Pop Culture” printed pencil sets, $8.

Those seeking gifts will love Greenwich Letterpress’s sense of humor. Throughout the shop, which is decorated with a variety of old-fashioned signage, logos, and more, there are a myriad of purposeful but nostalgic gifts like the pencil case that you had when you were a kid, rubber stamp kits, book plates, journals, note pads, delightful toys, impossibly cute cupcake liners, vintage-looking calendars, screen-printed tote bags, and prints suitable for framing. Among our favorites is a tiny enamel bicycle pin, which is perfect for your eco-minded friends on two wheels, $10.

In short, Greenwich Letterpress does well what every Village boutique should—it crams a ton of personality into every square foot. So don’t wait until he pops the question to come by—Swanson and Salvini add new inventory and new designs daily and their friendly staff is on stand-by to answer questions, explain the printing process, or just talk shop.
  - Joann Jovinelly

Greenwich Letterpress
39 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 989-7464

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