Our Beginning

North Bay Letterpress Arts was formed as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) group in the spring of 2015. It grew out of the work of Eric Johnson’s Iota Press, which has had a public shop in Sebastopol since June 2009.  Iota began at first with the idea of teaching the craft of old-style printing, and exploring its range for making books and artistic prints. 

“Man builds no structure that outlives a book.”

— carl elliott


There is increasing interest in letterpress nationally; in university book arts departments and as a graphic arts business. NBLA wants to encourage new practitioners to see the importance of the old art of hand-set type and foot- and hand-powered presses.

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Our Mission

North Bay Letterpress Arts is a center of teaching and practicing letterpress printing. It is also an experimental commons for those who are fascinated by the graphic presence of words formed & printed by hand. The shop in Sebastopol hosts workshops, tours, exhibits, poetry readings, book launches and a bemusement park.






Our education efforts reach a wide range of individuals and institutions. We encourage you to take a workshop, schedule a teambuilding experience, or attend an event as an introduction to our organization. We also love visitors, volunteers, donors.

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Get Involved

Please consider taking advantage of us; take a class, take a letter, take our advice, take a tour, take in a reading or a vagabond book. And while you’re on the website, consider giving a donation. The poetry of printing is a good cause.

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