debbie-and-elaine-penelope's-pressdebbie and elaine are sisters. debbie is younger than elaine. when elaine wasn’t looking, debbie would take elaine’s strawberry shortcake stationery and hide it. over 30 years later, debbie still has the strawberry shortcake stationery. debbie is now a stationer… elaine is her illustrator. and so, the story begins…

officially launched in 2009, penelope’s press is a chicago area letterpress studio based in woodridge, illinois, a suburb just 20 some miles from the city. penelope’s press’ signature style fuses modern and classic using simple design, clean typography, hand drawn illustrations, and subtle pops of color. all design, printing, ink mixing, die-cutting, paper trimming, scoring, and packaging is done in-house using eco-friendly practices.

a paper addict since childhood, debbie lee is the proprietor, perpetual printer, and designer for penelope’s press. she is a mother to 3, wife to 1, and press owner of 7. penelope’s press is her brainchild and business dream come true.

elaine crisostomo is the exclusive illustrator for penelope’s press.  she is a modern florence nightingale by day and a self proclaimed “doodler” by night. when she’s not taking care of her patients, she’s a busy mom of 3 boys.

debbie has always dreamt of having her own creative business while elaine has always imagined her drawings on greeting cards… together, they make magic happen.

letterpress is a centuries old printing process invented by gutenberg during the 1400’s.  a raised form {such as metal or wood type, carved linoleum blocks, magnesium and copper plates, photopolymer plates} is inked and pressed into the paper, one sheet at a time and one color at a time.  unlike any other printing method, letterpress leaves a tactile impression that can be seen and felt.  due to the hand crafted nature of the letterpress process, slight variations in color, depth of impression, and registration may occur—this lends to the beauty and distinct character of letterpress.

at penelope’s press, we are home to a few iron friends.  penelope {our first press} is a craftsmen superior tabletop. the “golden girls” were later added: blanche– an old style 8×12 chandler and price, circa 1903, sophia– a new style 8×12 chandler and price, circa 1912, and rose– a potter proof press, circa 1910. there’s also quinn– a tiny model 1 improved and henry– our handy guillotine paper cutter.  recently we added a second craftsmen superior and a new style 10×15 chandler and price.

now that we’re better acquainted, please do take off your shoes and stay a bit or drop us a note at hello@penelopespress.com. thank you for stopping by!