Warrior Printress: ‘A modern day message from old school stuff’

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The Lincoln Park Craft District is home to Warrior Printress Letterpress and Design. The small business and creative team, Janelle Miller and Stacie Renne, gives new life to a historic art style.

Most everything they use is old school. One of the printing presses they work on was built in the early 1900s. Miller jokes, “It’s literally a Titanic Era piece of machinery that’s still above water.”

She got her start working for Rick Allen and Marian Lansky at Kenspeckle Letterpress. “When I first started I was just packing cards for them, and he was like, ‘Maybe you want to try this press.’ I was like, ‘No, I don’t think so.’ But eventually he wore me down.”

When the pandemic hit, the space was too small for all of them to safely work in. So the press found a new home, and Janelle and Stacie paired up. They created an LLC. Janelle says the change has been positive, “It’s a full-service shop that’s really about us.”

Renne brings over 30 years of graphic design experience. “I have always loved typography, number one, and printing… It’s cool that you can make more than one when you paint, you’re just making one.”

The pair focus on activism and putting a positive spin on life. They’ve print quotes from drag queens, breakfast beer sayings, and, in general, bring a sense of humor to everything they do.

When The Lift visited their workshop, they were working on a commissioned piece. A client asked for a poster with the quote: “Once you label me, you negate me.”

Renne tell us, “We’re probably going to keep selling because we we like the message of it. It makes it’s a modern day message from old school stuff. So that’s kind of what we do.”

Warrior Printress has a letterpress show happening at UWS through March 27.

That’s in the Holden Arts Center, Kruk Gallery, and it’s open daily.