The History of
Letterpress Unlimited

Printing has been part of the Moody family since the turn of the twentieth century, about 1902. That is when my grandfather bought his first printing press, which I still have today. He started his career working for a newspaper in his hometown of Johnson City, Tennessee. And from there, the rest is history, sort of.

The family moved out to California some years later, and grandpa opened up a printshop in Santa Monica long about 1938. My Uncle Frank joined up with grandpa at the printshop and after his tour of duty, that became the foundation for Moody Printing & Stationery. Another uncle of mine, Hugh, also took to printing and went on to Santa Monica College as a Linotype Operator.

This is where I come in. After 3 semesters of graphic arts at Lincoln Junior High School, I kinda started to like printing. While at Lincoln, I designed, hand set the type and letterpress printed the ninth grade graduation announcements. Printing must have been in my blood because I had only been in my Uncle Frank's print shop once or twice (grandpa passed away some years back). Then one day, I ran into Uncle Frank at the market, we had not seen each other in quite some time and had a nice little chat. I asked him if he needed any help. His reply to that was yes, he sure could use extra help. So, I went to work at Moody Printing & Stationery part time before I started high school. I was taught how to makeready and print on a C&P, then a Heidelberg platen and on to Davidson offset presses. At Santa Monica High School, I completed the graphic arts program, started working full time and finishing my apprenticeship for Uncle Frank.

I continued working for Uncle Frank for about another ten years, running letterpress and offset presses, and really loving it. Through the last couple of years at Moody Printing & Stationery, Uncle Frank was getting constant requests from the new quick printers for letterpress services. Since this was a small commercial shop, the quick turnaround and trade prices really didn't fit in with Uncle Frank's plan. It was at this point in time, April 1978, that I started Letterpress Unlimited in Santa Monica. And now, of course, the rest is history.