Hi there! I’m Melissa Gruntkosky, the brains and brawn behind the letterpress stationery and paper goods studio, Pressbound. I create handcrafted paper goods that inspire tangible connections in a modern world, combining traditional printing like letterpress and woodblock with modern design and digital techniques. My work is fueled by folk art inspirations such as Polish paper-cuttings, Russian nesting dolls, and vintage embroidery while combining a love of texture, geometrical patterns, and retro color palettes. I offer a variety of design and printing services as well as producing my own collection of letterpress stationery, handmade journals, and digital art prints sold through my online shop, in retail stores and at regional craft shows. All of my work is produced by hand in a charming old mill building in Beverly, MA–a coastal New England city just north of Boston and next door to the historical city of Salem.
I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life immersed in the world of graphic design, studying through a master’s degree, working as a designer in the publishing industry, freelancing, and teaching design courses in the publishing program at Emerson College. Over seven years ago I got antsy with sitting at my computer all day long and was inspired to take a letterpress and bookbinding course at Massachusetts College of Art. The class fueled my passion for paper and a deep love affair with the tactility of letterpress. I continued taking classes, worked at a local letterpress shop, and finally acquired my own studio space and press (a Pearl Improved #11) in 2011.
My grandmother was a huge influence in my life. She was always making something from chicken soup, a quilt, crocheted slippers or my very favorite knit hat. I’ve inherited this drive from her and a deep pride in our Polish heritage. Many of the products that I design are inspired by motifs found in Polish folk art. I’m particularly attracted to wycinanki, which is the Polish art of paper cutting. But I’m always finding new things to inspire me, most recently Victorian era embroidered lettering. Be sure to stay up to date on my latest paper creations and inspirations by subscribing to my email updates and reading my blog.
When I’m not working some of my favorite things to do are riding my bike, hiking a trail, visiting a national park, drinking fancy beers, learning a new skill (most recently crochet), or hanging out with my cat Poppy and wonderfully supportive boyfriend. Oh yeah, and I’m kinda Instagram obsessed.