Horwinski Printing
Oakland, CA

By Aaris A. Schroeder
February 2013

Horwinski Printing Co., a letter-press, started in the ‘40s and since then, James [last name] has been running the business, third generation-style.  Horwinski’s Printing has been a huge part of the Bay Area for a long time, printing political, musical and sports posters, flyers and cardstock and electric business cards.

Roller Derby leagues are nothing new to James. He has printed for the Bay Bombers, ARSD All-Stars and even Roller Derby World-Champ Playoffs.

“One day you’ll be running this business,” says James, speaking as his father.

Originally typesetting was begun by hand, inked and printing on a real. Nowadays beginning with Photoshop, retrieving an image and fonts is how a letter press works.  Next up, images are cleaned up via orthography for visual display and printed by laser printers.  Next the Miehle Printer is used to print the image.  A client incorporates images and artwork into the typeset.  The image, opposite to screen printing, is turned into a negative and then is burned on a light-sensitive “cut-out” image, using “set-type.” Next the image [which is 3-D] is locked into place by a frame and gets reeled through a press to print individual copies. Much like screen printing, each color goes through one at a time and both arts require huge machines.  A printing press is 20 feet long and includes a leather wheel. 

One-color at a time, hand-reeled in.

James’ press can handle up to 44 inches and make billboards by tiling.  Horwinski’s machine that is over 100 years old was created by American Counting Machine and also several other companies since it has needed to be repaired. that Horwinski usues is 100-years-old. 

Random Posters on the Walls

“Read The Book
See The Movie
With Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton
Now Playing
Grand Lake Theater

“The Ugly American”
Staring Marlon Brando
Now Playing
Roxie Theatre, Oakland

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