About Us

The Distillery Letterpress Printing

Studio-12ws

The Distillery is all about an idea: Heritage soul with modern minds. As craftspeople, we engage this through speciality design and production services.

We specialise in positioning our clients in effective ways, often commercially, but always with soul and meaning. Generating creative ideas and promoting old-fashioned values is what we do best.

As an award-winning, full-service agency of artists and craftspeople, The Distillery don’t just dream up the big ideas, we bring them into the world with our own hands too.

As creative professionals with a passion for tactility, we believe that the best ideas start and are lived outside a computer screen. Our creative agency offers branding and design services to a range of commercial clients and individuals. We don’t just design for design sake. Research and strategy is at the heart of everything we do.

As a production studio, we’re one of the world’s leading modern letterpress practices, with a mission to help spread the love of letterpress in Australia and around the world. We offer letterpress printing, foiling, specialty packaging and laser cutting services to individuals, couples, and organisations who love paper and tangible beauty.

We excel at designing our own, and also printing your-designed personal and corporate stationery, business cards, wedding and event invitations, coasters, tags, specialty packaging and prints.

Our studio in Darlinghurst, Sydney is equipped to offer the finest design and commercial letterpress services. We’re open to the public, so please come and visit usWe’d love to meet you, learn more about your ideas, and help you create something really special.

International

As an Australian company, we’re proud of our creativity, can-do attitude and down to earth approach. We believe that heritage has an important story to tell, and we have plans to creatively explore, engage and expand around the world. In October 2014 we opened a new studio in Jakarta, Indonesia, and aim to continue our growth in the coming years.

Our Team

In Sydney, our team is led by our General Manager, Elise Polito, and Managing Director Nathan Leong. Each member of our team have been selected because of their attitude and passion of the craft of design and specialty production. If you’re interested in joining us, please look at our career opportunities.

Our Presses

Our letterpress printing style is driven by old-fashioned quality, lots of patience and hard work: 

Wolfgang is our original platen press, a Heidelberg ‘Windmill’ 10×15. Born in 1959 and immigrating to Australia shortly after, Wolfgang began his life at the old Chippendale Printing company until their closure in 2010. Rescued from the scrap-yard by Nathan, Wolfgang was lovingly restored to his original printing condition to become the workhorse of our studio. Wolfgang loves oil.

Heidi is our second and much younger Heidelberg Windmill, born in 1983 – the second last ever year of Heidelberg platen production. Rescued from an old printer in Melbourne, Heidi not only prints, but she hot-foils too. Unlike Wolfgang, Heidi wears grey trim, quietly purs and can run much faster.

Klaus is our third Heidelberg Windmill born in 1960. Rescued from Marrickville and moved to our Darlinghurst studio, Klaus was in need of much restoration. Originally missing a safety guard, we laser-cut a larger upgrade made of clear acrylic. Wolfgang and Heidi were quickly jealous, so they now sport matching upgrades too. Klaus is always very keen to print… so keen that his automatic paper-feed table sometimes fails to stop.

Bertha is our Heidelberg KSBA Cylinder press. Restored back to working order, we’re excited to produce large prints, posters and specialty packaging with her. Noisy but accurate, Bertha can confidently letterpress print and die-cut up to A2 size.

The Arab is our Arab Press from 1910. A product of England, The Arab is is foot treadle operated, and men beware, requires the ability to multi-task. Arab Presses were such titled because at that time in the western world’s history, “Arab” was a term commonly used to denote reliable, hard working. Incidentally, Arab presses are also flat-packable – like Ikea furniture. You might spot us printing with The Arab from our front-window some time.

Chandler Bing is our Chandler & Price press from 1897. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, this press was used in South Australia in the early days of settlement. Also foot treadle operated, alongside Aladdin, Chandler Bing will be used for upcoming letterpress classes.

Heritage soul with modern minds