New Micro Press Publisher Brooklyn’s The Crumpled Press

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New Micro Press Publisher

Brooklyn’s The Crumpled Press

By Nathaniel G. Moore

The Crumpled Press has put out 10 titles since its inception in 2005 when they launched their first two books, Still Leaves and 911.

Founded by Nicholas Jahr, Jordan Kenneth McIntyre and Alexander Bick, the press recently added managing editor Aaron Tugendhaft in 2007.

Tugendhaft says the books are printed using either laser or ink-jet printers from computer files, adding, “We combine the latest technology with the pleasures of an archaic form of production.” Or, as the press’s website clearly states: “The Crumpled Press is a small press dedicated to producing hand-bound editions of work that would otherwise be ‘crumpled’ and tossed in the waste.” The press also promises that each Crumpled Press book and pamphlet is made by hand for “a distinctive look and feel.”

In the forward to one of the press’s most recent publications Anthony Grafton’s Codex in Crisis the editors disclose their pub­lishing manifesto, “When we created The Crumpled Press, in 2005, we sought to re-animate the pamphlet as an expressive form. But we soon realized that blogs had filled this niche. We began to think more seriously about the specificity and durabil­ity of print: we learned the languages of paper, type and binding. This doesn’t mean that we rejected new technologies–indeed, our work would be impossible without the personal computer, the Internet and the laser printer. Just as photography forced painters to reconsider their art, however, the Web has forced us to reconsider the possibilities of print.”

When it comes to distributing the titles, the main focus seems to be through their website, or through word-of-mouth. “We do sell our books in a limited number of stores–mainly in geographi­cal areas where we have access for one reason or another.” A list of these stores are on the website. Tugendhaft says some stores are beginning to order books straight out, but the relationships usually begin as consignment sales and then evolve.

When it comes to designing the books, everyone lends a hand, “but mainly it is the work of Jordan McIntyre.” Tugendhaft says. “We also get help with graphic design sometimes from Aaron Mosher.”

When it’s time for the laborious process of hand stitching, stapling and assembling the books, the press has a “pool of friends” who donate their time to help fold, cut and sew. Tugendhaft says on average, about three to six people come to help for any given binding event and that “the pool is always growing.”

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