My great-grandfather Rudolph Edward Emil Kunze was a wood engraver in Chicago in the late 1800s. My grandfather’s brother owned an engraving business in Chicago in the early 1900s. My father worked in that business for years. I grew up to become the fourth generation Kunze working in the graphic arts. It was only natural that I was attracted to letterforms and the fragrance of printer’s ink.

Before I set type by hand, I hand lettered type and rubberstamped type. I silkscreened. I silkscreened ceramic decals and transferred them to pots I threw and then fired them. I printed woodcuts and linoleum cuts from raised surfaces.  I engraved in copper. Then I bought my first printing press just after graduate school, and began acquiring foundry type.

While I was hand setting type in my studio, I was exploring new typesetting technologies at work. Photo and digital type quickly overtook metal type. I still have two printing presses and tons of type collecting dust in my studio while I now set type on a computer. I enjoy the letterforms just as much, but I do miss the fragrance of printer’s ink.