Steel Petal Press is a Chicago-based printing and letterpress operation run by me, Shayna Norwood. I’m a professionally trained visual artist with a Bachelor in Fine Arts from San Francisco Art Institute. I’ve been letterpress printing since 2004, when I was first introduced to it while earning my degree. As an artist (with a background in Book and Paper Art), I’m drawn to the way text interacts with images to tell a story.
I love the mechanics, machinery, and process of letterpress printing as well as the gorgeous impression each print leaves on a page. Over the years, I’ve developed my craft through working in various letterpress studios and book arts centers across the country, from the San Francisco Center for Book Arts to Women’s Studio Workshop in New York.
In December 2008, I started Steel Petal Press when I decided to design and print my own holiday cards to send to friends and family. Since then, the business has expanded to include custom wedding invitations, business cards, holiday photo cards, and personal stationery.
“Penelope”, a 1960s Chandler & Price Model-N, joined the Steel Petal Press family in the spring of 2011. In the winter of 2012 we welcomed a 1950s Challenge level paper cutter, affectionately known as “Jaws,” into our studio. And most recently we acquired “Sweetie” our Vandercook SP-15. In the spring of 2016 we moved into our current studio in Logan Square where we opened up a brick and mortar retail shop in the front of our space. Here we sell Steel Petal Press greeting cards, gifts and cards from independent designers from Chicago around the country.
My aesthetic as an artist is vivid and expressive, grounded in confident and moving design. But I thrive on working hand-in-hand with clients to craft a look that’s distinctively theirs as well as meaningful to the occasion. Building a narrative with word and image, I hand feed each piece individually through the press making each one ever so slightly different and unique in its own way. I feel so lucky to be able to use my art degree to make a living doing something I love every day—I put that spirit into every design.
Kat Wisniewski is happy to help keep Steel Petal Press running smoothly. She completed her undergrad degree in Philosophy, but quickly realized that she should’ve gone to school for fine art instead. In 2005 she established her hand-made jewelry company, Elemental Art Jewelry where she specializes in glass and rubber chainmaille designs. She is also known internationally for her many published projects. Crafty businesses simply rock!
Shipping and Production Assistant
Retail Lead and Production Assistant