In collaboration with The Cranky Pressman, we created an absurdly elaborate promotional piece to demonstrate the Pressman’s incredible production capabilities. The idea took the form of a crank letter, an old-fashioned way for people to air their grievances before the internet, and was the perfect way for us to bring the curmudgeonly character of the Pressman to life. The piece itself illustrates the benefits of print over digital through its elaborate production.
To authentically simulate the imperfect scrawling of an angry old man, an enormous amount of handwork went into the piece. Together, we collaborated on all copy, from the typewritten letter to the proofreader’s notes, and tailored it to fit Cranky’s grumpy persona.
The letter was first typed out using a vintage Smith-Corona Corsair typewriter, and later letterpressed in addition to the full letterhead. The Cranky Pressman handled all production, and ran the letter a total of four times through the press in order to emulate the bite of the typewriter.
Jamie Berger’s illustration of The Cranky Pressman in the logo was the perfect counterpoint to our eccentric doodling.
The envelopes were letterpress printed, and folded and rubber-stamped by hand. Each was addressed using a vintage Smith-Corona Corsair typewriter. Actual inky fingerprints from The Cranky Pressman himself are the finishing touch. This overtly human detail brings a warmth and intimacy to the piece that could never be digitally simulated.
The photos were printed on photo paper, with an extra wide white border to simulate photo prints of the past.
After failed attempts to use an offset litho and letterpress to print the newspaper clipping on newsprint, Cranky finally switched to a digital copying machine. Each was hand folded and dog-eared. We designed the ads and articles based on vintage issues of The Vindicator, an Ohio newspaper.
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