For this episode, I spoke with Lindsay Schmittle, the Owner & Chief Maker of Gingerly Press, a letterpress design studio where she works with handset type. Lindsay is formally trained in graphic design, and she studied visual communication in college before working as a printer. After that experience, she began acquiring her own printing equipment, and then made the leap to start her own business. Gingerly Press started in her parents’ garage outside of Philadelphia, and is on its way to Pittsburgh in the spring.
"Let's Adventure" card, one of Gingerly Press's most popular products (top)
Hand set type ready to print (bottom)
She describes herself as an entrepreneur, and says all of her business skills are self-taught. Her dream is to have a studio space that will also accommodate workshops. Lindsay feels strongly about marketing the process of letterpress printing, and she notes that her letterpress is an antique from 1915. After she moves to Pittsburgh, she envisions staying in her new city for at least 10 years since the tools of her trade are very heavy and can be fragile – she calls it her “heavy metal baggage.” When thinking about her big move, Lindsay says she wants to cultivate a creative community, wherever she ends up.
Some of The Printed Walk posters from the series of 22 designs representing Lindsay's Appalachian Trail hike
Lindsay shares the origin stories of her decision to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail and the art she’s creating from that experience. In 2015, in preparation for her Appalachian Trail hike, she hiked Vermont’s Long Trail with her brother. Then, in the fall of 2016, she launched her Kickstarter project, The Printed Walk: Georgia to Maine, which funded her trip and kept her outdoor adventures tied to her budding business. She talks about fighting fear, in terms of fear of her ability to complete the hike, fund the Kickstarter, and creating work that she’s proud of afterward.
More hand set type, the tools of Lindsay's trade (top)
The reverse of each poster has the story, relevant hiking stats, state(s) hiked through, materials printed with, and elevation map representing a 100-mile section of trail. When the reverses are lined up, one can view the elevation map of the entire 2,190 mile trail (middle)
Lindsay reaching the final summit of the trail, Mt. Katahdin in Maine (bottom)