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There are those among us who, ambivalent as we might have been about the start of the school year, reveled in shopping for supplies. The satisfying heft of a new notebook, the fresh curls of wood from sharpening a new pencil. (Inhales deeply.) And when we grow up, we peer into stationery shops with the glee of Holly Golightly at Tiffany’s.


“I think I still have my miniature Hello Kitty stapler around here from when I was a kid,” says Lynn Jones, proprietress of Just My Type Letterpress Paperie. Not a shocking revelation, really, considering her store caters to lovers of such analog delights as hand-pressed cards, journals and prints. Well, more than analog — around the shop are 10 presses, ranging from a desktop model for business cards to a 1-ton, cast iron behemoth in the window, likely chugging away as her apprentice Taylor Montoya cranks out artful packaging for Dick Taylor Craft Chocolates.

click to enlarge Claire Harkins, Tyler Montoya, Elly King and Lynn M. Jones. - LEÓN VILLAGÓMEZ
  • León Villagómez
  • Claire Harkins, Tyler Montoya, Elly King and Lynn M. Jones.
Once upon a time, Jones says, “I was a graphic design student and I really didn’t know anything about letterpresses.” Then she spent a summer working with David Lance Goines in Berkeley, learning to use printing presses. “And I was hooked,” on the process, the control and the presses themselves. Jones, who’d met her husband, Andy, at Humboldt State University, returned to settle in our county and discovered an old Eureka print shop’s equipment was for sale. With some 20 cabinets of type and a trove of outdated equipment, they knew it was time to set up a business.

In 2016, Just My Type open-ed around the corner from its current spot in the Carson Block Building’s ground floor. Since the move onto F Street, the foot traffic has blown up. Customers come in for custom wedding invitations, to browse work by local makers — Makino Studios, Pen and Pine, Fickle Hill Letterpress, Graphic Heart, Skye Henterly and others — and the wall of mostly indie cards. In an age of e-cards, they offer old-fashioned distinction with tactile pleasure and sentiments for our times, like Jones’ apology card with an untrustworthy looking raccoon or her platypus card, shruggingly announcing, “It’s complicated.”
click to enlarge Lynn Jones operates a 1-ton, cast iron press that sits in the window. - LEÓN VILLAGÓMEZ
  • León Villagómez
  • Lynn Jones operates a 1-ton, cast iron press that sits in the window.

To feed your Goth soul, Jones also has a series of “dark” pieces. “So much of the stationery world is cutesy and pink and floral,” Jones says. And so she created images like a scorpion or bat (a popular choice among her locally printed vinyl stickers). Among her linoleum-carved prints are rocky Humboldt beachscapes, lounging cats and bright California poppies. There are even home-friendly versions of the stunning mural she created at the Morris Graves Museum of Art for the Eureka Street Art Festival — a vertiginous upward view of redwoods in black and white.

She also won a pair of Louie’s — the Oscars of the greeting card world — for her stationery box sets and her plantable seed paper cards that read, “They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.” Place them in soil and watch them sprout wildflowers.
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About The Author

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Bio:
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill is the arts and features editor of the North Coast Journal.

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