From his studio in Santa Monica, Kevin Bradley makes typographic art the good old-fashioned way.
Through his early days at the hallowed Hatch Show Print in Nashville to his 15-year run as founder of Yee Haw Industries in Knoxville, Tennessee, Bradley determinedly built a reputation as one of America’s premier printmakers. Through his creations, his work spoke for itself, changing the face of modern printmaking.
In 2013, Bradley made headlines when he used Kickstarter to fund the transportation of his entire studio from its home in Tennessee to a new locale. After a fateful flood in New Orleans changed his plans, Bradley and all 30 tons of his equipment arrived in California after an epic cross-country journey. The Church of Type was founded on Santa Monica’s westside with little fanfare, per Bradley’s preference. Since that time, the studio-shop hybrid has quietly gained a congregation of print hounds who flock to the site, having learned of its existence through word-of-mouth alone.
Inside, they find the charming, warm, eccentric Bradley cranking out the unique, beautiful brand of contemporary letterpress for which the Church of Type has become known. Everything is handprinted on Vandercook proof presses and a 4’x10’ Takach press, utilizing traditional techniques in modern, inventive ways. Evidencing this are the prints that plaster every inch of the shop’s walls; their subject matter ranges from politics and music, to fine art, wrestling, and more, while looking both cutting edge and classic at the same time.
Lovers of letterpress, typography, art, and design can consider this their house of worship. In Bradley’s own words, “The Church of Type was built for you.”
Update: The Church of Type closed in February 2021.