If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.
Meet Kyle Durrie, a letterpress printer from Portland, Oregon and owner of Power and Light Letter Press and Design. When her two greatest passions, printing and road trips, couldn’t seamlessly coincide in her life, she was determined to figure out a way live without sacrificing one for the other. With the help of her creativity, unyielding determination, and some unexpected monetary donations, Kyle transformed a 1982 Chevy step van into a fully functional letterpress print shop that tours all over the U.S. and Canada. Luckily for us in the Metro DC area, her “Moveable Type” truck made multiple stops in DC, Maryland, and Virginia during its 2011 tour.
I also had the pleasure of interviewing Kyle so we can all get some insight on what it takes to stop waiting for your life to be all you want it to be and start taking the steps to transform it.
Are there any typographic artists that particularly inspire you and influence your work? Where else do you find inspiration?
I’m hugely inspired by Hatch Show Print and Yee-Haw Industries—both are print shops from Tennessee with a very strong American typographic aesthetic.
I wouldn’t say my work is similar to theirs at all, but they are still a bottomless well of inspiration for me. I am also inspired by wobbly lines, history, overheard conversations, logs, whiskey, trains, the color brown, the Wild West, dogs, salt water, road maps, vintage office supplies, and beards, among other things. I love crossword puzzles, swimming in creeks, green chile, adventures, and occupying small spaces.
What inspired you to take your passion on the road and share it with others?
I was feeling a bit restless, feeling the need to reinvigorate my printing practice. I’ve always loved the way road trips kind of reset me, so I started thinking about how interesting it could be to combine these two loves of mine – printing and road trips. I was on a cross-country tour last year with my boyfriend’s band, and was inspired by the way musicians travel and share their work and connect with people and places. I wanted to experience something meaningful like that.
What is the best and what is the most difficult part about traveling around the U.S. with your letter press truck?
The best: visiting new places and meeting new people; freedom. The worst: not allowing myself enough downtime.
I’m sure it’s difficult to choose just one, but what is your favorite font?
Anything made of wood.
What is the greatest or most moving experience you’ve had throughout your journey so far?
I’ve experienced some pretty amazing landscapes over the past few months… to name a few: Badlands (South Dakota) and the coast of Maine; I’ve been incredibly moved by the generosity I’ve encountered along the way.
…And a little artsy humor for the last question: If you were a font would you be serif or sans serif and why?
Definitely a serif. My favorite boots are two sizes too big for me.
Despite her success, Kyle is very grounded and grateful for all her support. She takes requests for stops along her tour, and she’s constantly adding dates and locations.
Want to learn more? Check out…
Her website www.type-truck.com
Power & Light – Letterpress and Design www.powerandlightpress.com
Jillian (Brooke) Parker loves creative writing, but poetry is her biggest passion. She’s all about sitting down at her computer and typing poems full of her two favorite literary devices: rhyme and alliteration. Having graduated from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in English in the Spring of 2011, Parker hopes to pursue a career in copywriting and editing. She is fascinated by the numerous outlets for copywriters, but is most interested in writing within artistic fields because projects for artists provide the best and most creative scope for her writing.