Signal-Return letterprint shop to open in Eastern Market

A new venture from Team Detroit creative director and Detroit champion Toby Barlow will bring the fine art of letterpress printing to a storefront in Eastern Market.

Signal-Return will operate as a nonprofit studio dedicated to advancing the art of letterpress printing, invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century. Though widespread use of the printing method for book-making died out in the 1950's, letterpress books and posters have since become hot commodities, both in the art world and with students.

Team Detroit Project Manager Ryan Schirmang has spent much of the last year helping bring Signal-Return to life -- ever since Barlow returned from a trip to Nashville awed by a letterpress shop he had found in the city. The operation will be housed in a 2500 sq. ft. space next to Division Street Boutique in Eastern Market. Helming the shop is Megan O'Connell, an expert on the craft of book-making and classic printing.

Schirmang says they are waiting on the city to formally approve plans, and they expect to begin building out the space within weeks.

"On the right side, it will be the storefront with a counter and posters lining the walls, and then the left side will be the studio with all the presses and areas for assembling type and composing and laying out," he says, "It'll be a place where you can go in and see the production of it."

In addition to custom-printing posters, invitations and other printed materials, Signal-Return will host several workshops for beginners interested in learning the craft and customs of letterpress printing.

Schirmang says the store will open its doors this fall.

Signal-Return is located at 1345 Division Street. Click here to become a fan on Facebook.

Source: Ryan Schirmang, project manager, Team Detroit
Writer: Ashley C. Woods
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