PRIXEL: A Modular Printing Press


We ordered this for the shop in November, thinking it would be a good holiday gift for people—but we never put it out on the floor. We needed to spend a little time with it first, and we didn’t have a chance to do that until Christmas Day. And now we are believers. This thing is so much fun.

But what is it? It’s a modular printmaking system inspired by vintage toy printing presses and stamps. In other words, it’s a completely hand-made, rubber stamp printing set-up. The hand-cast silicone sorts are soft enough to hand-print like a rubber stamp but rearrangeable like ye olde handset type.

To print, just pop letters and shapes into the grid (which sorta works like a composing stick [Sorta.]), dab on some ink, and push down onto a piece of paper. Each kit comes with two setup plates (the aforementioned composing stick-thing) so you can keep one design while you work on another—or plan for multicolor work. Watch a quick video of this thing in action.

Now, this isn’t just a silly toy to print a bunch or words. Or, rather, it’s more than that. We have had much more fun with the geometric shapes. We’ve only just begun to explore what’s possible, but what we have learned is that anything is possible. We love love love arranging the shapes, making new ones, and finding new ways to compose circles, squares, triangles, lines, and colors. See how others have been putting this to use.  

Lastly, one can download PRIXEL Mono, a digital typeface from which the silicone letters and shapes are derived. It’s monospaced both laterally and vertically, with additional geometric shapes that can be used to make elaborate (or simple) illustrations and compositions. Learn more about the face here.

One more thing: Each kit is made and assembled by hand in Hudson, New York, by designer and artist Brandon Gamm. He casts the type, forms the trays, and operates all the machinery involved in making everything. It’s a remarkable and bonkers thing, allowing us (and you) to make things that’re remarkable and bonkers.

  • Package Size: 18.75 × 9 inches
  • Press: 5.5 × 5.5 inches with a printing area of 4 × 4 inches
  • Font: PRIXEL Mono (download) cast in 544 pieces of color-coded type
  • Inks: Includes 5 Japanese ink-pads in Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Black
  • Manufacturer: Prixel Press, LLC