March 23, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Two things are immediately obvious when walking into the Inclosed Letterpress Co. office: a creative person set up this office, and creative things happen in this space. Located in the Mastercraft building, which houses fellow creative companies Scott Drickey Photography, Grain & Mortar Design Studio, and others, Inclosed Letterpress Co. was founded in 2006 by owner and creative director Lesley Pick. She selected the Mastercraft Building in part because the building itself is “so beautiful—it’s wonderful,” she says. “Everyone is happy and friendly in the building. It’s fun to come to work.”

Pick didn’t have to do much to the space after moving in. “We painted the walls white and hung some fun lights. The beautiful exposed wood and brick of the building match the mechanical, industrial feel.” The office is an open concept, intentionally made that way to promote creativity. “You can see what’s actually happening in the creative process,” she adds.

You can also hear what’s happening. Two antique presses clack and bang their way through the relief printing of hand-printed notecards and invitations. Thus, the second reason why Pick picked the Mastercraft—the dock door allowed her large equipment into the building.

The presses are beautifully refurbished and have a special place in Pick’s heart. “New printing technology is automatic and everything comes out the same,” she says. “With these presses, every card is completely different. The color saturation is different. And I can use thicker cotton paper than I could with new printers. Digitally printed stuff is flat, but these give me a more luxurious feel.”

Before moving to the Mastercraft Building, the presses sat in the basement of her father’s house. Her father was also a printer and often works side-by-side with Lesley today. One is a Chandler & Price Old Style from 1896 that she purchased from a company in Indiana that specializes in refurbishing old printing presses, and the other is a press she bought from a printing company in Fremont that went out of business. The second press is from the 1920s and was refurbished by her father for his printing company.

Pick is quick to point out the differences between the two presses. “See how the spokes are wavy on this one and straight on the other?” she asks, proudly gazing upon the presses as though they are honored guests in the room. While she readily admits that these old presses are more difficult and time-consuming (and louder) to use than modern-day digital printers, it’s a compromise she’s willing to make. “It does get loud around here,” she admits, adding that the bulk of their printing happens on the weekend when nobody else is in the office.   

She’s made quite an impression with her work. In fact, she was voted a Top Ten Designer to Watch in 2017 by the trade publication Stationery Trends.

Kathryn Nygren, owner at Found & Flora in Wahoo, understands why she was voted a top designer.

“We love that it’s something different that we can’t find anywhere else,” Nygren says. “The quality is great and Leslie is really easy to work with.”

This love of old presses does not mean that Pick shuns technology. The graphic designer by trade creates custom invitations and cards on computer programs to be printed on 100 percent cotton paper.

During the week, Pick is joined by lead designer Allison Kuklis. Together they share the creative space and create products featured in the Methodist Gift Shop, Spruce, and several other retailers locally along with numerous retailers throughout the United States and Canada. Inclosed Letterpress Co. is entertaining thoughts of the future. If an expansion is in the cards, Pick anticipates staying in the Mastercraft Building and acquiring a bigger space. She wants to be in a creative, artistic space and she’s found that in this building.

Visit inclosedco.com for more information about their printing business.

This article was printed in the April/May 2018 edition of B2B.