<
>

San Francisco

Arion Press

The Arion Press is one of the leading letterpress printers in America today. For over 40 years, Arion Press has married great literature with great artists to craft handmade limited-edition books that could be produced nowhere else in the country. In the past, some of our most successful publications were partnerships with Martin Puryear, Kiki Smith, and Kara Walker. Arion has published over 100 limited edition books, and our volumes reside in institutions across the globe from the Getty Center to the Library of Congress. Arion Press operates under the umbrella nonprofit The Grabhorn Institute, which was formed in 2000 to preserve two unique San Francisco businesses—Arion Press and M&H Type—with roots stretching back over a century.

The Makers and Their Production Spaces
A dedicated team of 6 bookmakers—including typecasters, bookbinders, and letterpress printers—craft Arion Press limited editions by hand at our historic facility in the Presidio. Arion books are produced in the most extensive fully integrated type foundry, letterpress workshop, and bookbindery remaining in the United States. The facility has been designated an “irreplaceable cultural treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation for its collection of letterpress printing equipment and the largest assembly of metal typefaces in the nation outside the Smithsonian.

All Arion bookmakers go through a multi-year apprenticeship—the only paid apprenticeship program in letterpress printing, hand bookbinding, and typecasting in the country today. Our apprenticeship program has trained dozens of talented bookmakers over the past 20 years, and graduates have gone on to start museums, found their own independent presses, and teach advanced courses on letterpress printing and hand bookbinding. Through this multi-year education, passionate artisans develop the expertise to create some of the finest artist books in the country and carry on the knowledge of traditional bookmaking forward into the 21st century.

The Making Process
Arion’s facility is one of the few places left in the country where the entire process of making a book by hand is practiced under one roof. Here traditional bookmaking—from the casting of metal type through bookbinding by hand— is still practiced from start to finish using the technologies familiar to Gutenberg. Books begin in the foundry where lead ingots are melted to form the typeface for our editions, which are then used in the pressroom to print the pages for the book. These pages are then folded, collated, and stitched by hand in the Bindery to complete the binding for each volume. As stewards of two centuries of San Francisco printing history, Arion Press exists as a forum where these disappearing crafts are celebrated and preserved.

The Production Model
Arion Press collaborates with leading authors and visual artists to create limited-edition artist books by hand. We have a select group of subscribers who are committed to purchasing each new edition we produce. As printer publishers, we design and distribute each book ourselves via a subscription model along with direct sales to individuals, libraries, and institutions across the world. Our books are typically published in editions of 250 copies and are issued in several binding variants, often accompanied by an additional print or suite of prints. The press aims to print 3-4 books each year, and this small-batch production model is designed to give our staff of craftspeople the time to create one-of-a-kind, collectible books that are handmade from font to cover.

The Materials
Arion Press employs the full array of traditional materials and supplies used in making fine-press books. These materials include: the lead alloy used to cast type; polymer plates, oil- and soy-based inks, handmade papers for printing; book cloths and binder’s boards, leather, linen threads and tapes, muslin, gold and other metallic foils, along with synthetic and animal glue. While modern technologies have brought new materials and techniques into the process, the foundational structures and methods of bookmaking have remained constant over time. Arion Press honors this legacy every day by working with traditional materials.

Oakland

Timepieces

Bespoke Watch Projects

San Francisco

Clothing

Camelia Skikos

Berkeley

Clothing

Harvest & Mill

Oakland

Clothing

Lacson Ravello

Oakland

Garden

Orta Kitchen Garden

San Francisco

Jewelry

Stella Fluorescent

San Francisco

Jewelry

Anna Monet Jewelry

Oakland

Furniture

Jason Lees Design

San Francisco

Furniture

Galanter & Jones

Oakland

Furniture

Model No.

Crockett

Furniture & Objects

OJA

San Francisco

Furniture

Otelier

San Francisco

Furniture

Fyrn

Oakland

Art, Décor, Lighting

Elliptic Designs

San Leandro

Lighting

Gantri

Marin

Ceramics

Skinny Ceramics

San Francisco, Sausalito

Ceramics

Heath Ceramics

San Francisco

Ceramics

Len Carella

Vallejo

Bags & Home Goods

Oxgut Hose Co.

San Francisco

Culinary Totes

Aplat

Marin

Dressings

Farmhouse Lab

West Oakland

Body & Bath

Juniper Ridge

San Francisco

Body & Bath

Heliotrope San Francisco

San Leandro

Concrete Design & Fabrication

MANOS by Concreteworks

Sausalito

Skincare

Botnia Skincare

San Leandro

Precision Automated Fabrication

Automatic Arts

Alameda

Distilled Spirits

St. George Spirits

San Francisco

Ceramics

MMclay

San Francisco

Ceramics

Lisa Fleming Ceramics

San Anselmo

Clothing & Accessories

Entrelanas Designs

Vallejo

Clothing

Aliya Wanek

Oakland

Clothing & Accessories

Honor Road

Berkeley

Home Accessories

Woven Grey

Oakland

Furniture & Objects

Yvonne Mouser

San Francisco

Letterpress

Arion Press

Oakland

Quilts

Construction Lines

Palo Alto

Clothing

Heliades

Sausalito

Art & Ceramics

TKID

Brisbane

Aprons & Accessories

Stagger Lee Goods

San Francisco

Eyewear

Topology Eyewear

Oakland

Baked Goods

Wooden Table Baking Co

Oakland

Jewelry & Accessories

YMSF

San Francisco

Beer

Fort Point Beer Co.

Oakland

Clothing

Kali Made Garments