Your text is finalized. You've chosen pictures. What next? Horse & Buggy Press
A few weeks ago I visited Dave Wofford’s award winning graphic design, letterpress printing, and book production studio Horse & Buggy Press and Friends on Broad Street.
Inside the modernist storefront I found a beautifully lit space filled with art! Dave’s studio also serves as a gallery showcasing not only his work but dozens of artists from across the Southeast. There was so much to see. He welcomed me and then showed me elegant letterpressed wedding invitations, expansive photography books, and delicate clay crafts.
Then we delved further into his work. In his graphic design, letterpress and book production work, Dave collaborates with a wide range of clients – from art museums to the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival to book publishers. He has designed programs, catalogues, menus, posters and everything in between. Since 1996 Horse & Buggy Press has designed 80+ fine press and trade books, and in this time he has cultivated relationships with a wide variety of vendors, from digital to offset presses to binderies and more.
And – good news for us – Dave especially enjoys crafting personal book projects such as memoir.
I’ve had the privilege of helping many individual clients craft personal stories, whether memoir, a series of vignettes, a collection of personal essays for themselves or a written legacy intended for their family and friends. Horse & Buggy Press turns the text and photos on your computer screen into something you can hold in your hands and give to your loved ones.
As he states on his webpage: "I love working on these projects—creating beautiful book editions of memoirs/autobiographies/family histories; and working directly with authors (or their relatives) in a collaborative manner. It is incredibly satisfying to show there is a more fun and rewarding route than the Lulu and impersonal online "shove everything into a template" approach which don’t offer much in the way of choices of materials and results in uninspired, mediocre books and a cold, detached working process for the author.
“Additionally,” Dave says, “the image restoration and editing skills I am able to provide ensure that even lower quality photographs and images will reproduce beautifully. A wide range of printing and binding options, as well as assistance in editing manuscripts, are available for memoir books editions, so that we find the sweet spot in balancing special production touches with economic realities and tailor each project to its unique situation."
I picked up a few samples of memoirs he’s produced and was delighted that the covers were thick and sturdy and included cover flaps that tucked in, adding heft. The pages were clean, silky smooth and each sample had that indescribable new book smell. Inside the pages were humming with memories in a dark print that almost lept off the page. I wanted to dive right in. Looking around his studio and holding the books in my hands, I was filled with the overwhelming desire to make something.
If you choose to collaborate with Horse & Buggy Press here’s how it works: together, through private coaching or a class, you and I craft and finalize your text (whether it’s a series of vignettes, a focused memoir about a particular time in your life or a collection of personal essays). We might even select pictures. Once we have the text and pictures ready for production, we celebrate this momentous event! (That’s an important step.) Then I connect you with Dave, who designs and produces a beautiful keepsake for you and up to 500 others.
Rather than using a bigger, faraway less personal press, this is an opportunity to shop local, support our community and have the advantage of Dave as your resource and artisan, a phone call or personal visit away.
Throughout our visit it was clear that he is focused on quality and loves what he does. With a boundless, boyish enthusiasm he filled me in on options for covers, font sizes, page number placements, and more.
With his care and attention to detail, your book be will a keepsake, as well as a piece of art. I’m pleased to report that Dave does memoir book production at a slight discount from his normal business rate because he believes in the power and importance of personal storytelling.
Like the name, the service provided by Horse and Buggy Press is refreshingly old fashioned. The best way to order or inquire about work is to phone, email or stop in. Check out more examples of work on the Horse & Buggy website.
I left the Horse & Buggy Press studio re-energized and excited for the projects we can create together. The craftsman energy at Horse & Buggy Press is contagious. If you have a project that’s ready to be made into a beautifully designed book, stop into Dave’s studio.
If you want to revisit that unfinished manuscript that has been sitting in your desk drawer, get in touch with me.