With the Publisher’s Compliments: Letterpressed Notecards

It’s always a lovely day when one of my colleagues from the Production department proudly carries into my office an early finished copy of our latest offering, newly arrived from the printer’s. We call those rare finished copies ‘advances.’ The arrival of the advance is the culmination of months, more often years, of creative endeavor: from the seed in the author or artist’s imagination all the way through the editorial, design, and production process. It’s a thrilling moment to see all that collaboration come to fruition! In choosing what to publish, we focus on projects that we believe Chronicle Books is absolutely the best publisher for, projects we can cultivate with unique spirit, creativity, and value. So sitting down on my stripey sofa to leaf through a new book or rip open a new format is always a joy. And sometimes I can’t wait to share that joy with others here at Chronicle in the form of With the Publisher’s Compliments: Advance o’ the Week. (I’d better immediately acknowledge that my sense of time drifts a bit.) This is an advance which, for one reason or another, especially reflects that collaboration, that spirit, creativity, and value we hold so dear. It sits magnificently on a plinth right by the elevator as people enter the building, giving them a sneak peek of a treat to come – because the Advance o’ the Week isn’t available for sale yet. May I share my pride in our publishing and give you a sneak peek too?


Since my handwriting’s illegible at the best of times, here’s what I wrote above:

Happy New Year! And what better way to start it than with these gifts? Several years ago, Michelle C, a pressman herself, got us hankering after letterpress again. But how could we bring something truly distinctive to the letterpress market? That was the challenge. So Kate W engaged deeply with consumers on this subject. Kristen went scouring for surprising illustrators. And Michael C, Michelle C, and Shona made all sorts of discoveries about letterpress printers. Michael C himself conceived the handsome ‘Briefly Noted’ line, which must’ve crossed Leigh’s proofreading eyes. And look at what they made together! Please admire the quality of the made-in-the-USA printing; how those fabulous Mohawk papers pop; yay, the compostable packaging! What new things we have learned in creating surprise from the oldest form of printing on paper! Now, think of how happy all your nice relatives are going to be when they receive one of these thank-you cards for those exceptional socks?

*Cast in order of appearance: Michelle Clair, senior production coordinator; Kate Woodrow, senior editor; Kristen Hewitt, associate design director; Michael Carabetta, creative director; Shona Burns, executive director, production & content management; and Leigh Saffold, managing editor.

Christine Carswell

Pre-order the Masako Kubo, Klas Fahlén, and Briefly Noted letterpressed notecards.

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