Michelle knew how to use it, having taken a letterpress printing course in Colorado, but also knew she didn’t want to trade a job at a computer for one stuck with a press in a garage.

Preparing a press for a print run often takes as long as the print run itself, says Jon Mark Buckner.

Rod Aydelotte, Tribun-Herald

The Buckners also knew that in an age of desktop publishing and dying mail order habits, they needed more than individual orders of invitations and handcrafted cards for a sustainable business. That’s when they decided to combine their print job with a stationery and stationery store, gathering them in a sunny corner of Franklin Avenue and naming it January, after a month known for new departures and, as their website says, entering new hope.

The two quickly understood that there was a lot to learn.

“There were a lot of failures,” admitted Michelle. Jon Mark said YouTube videos and experience are now replacing education once transferred by learning.

Letterpress presses print by a flat inked plate in contact with the paper rather than jets of ink spraying ink or a rotary press that prints on paper pulled through inked cylinders, much more printing methods fast. They require the creation of an engraved plate, which must be inked by hand with mixed inks for each print.

January typography 1

Michelle and Jon Mark Buckner create and sell paper goods at their downtown Waco boutique, January Letterpress.

Rod Aydelotte, Tribun-Herald

Only one color can be printed at a time, so parts with multiple colors must go through the press multiple times. This tends to shape the Buckners’ graphic style, which tends towards a clean, minimalist modern style with few but strong colors.