The Arion Press is a United States book publishing company founded in San Francisco in 1974. It has published 120 limited-edition books, most printed by letterpress, often illustrated with original prints by notable artists. Minneapolis Star Tribune described it as “the nation’s leading publisher of fine-press books”.
Arion’s history, after all, is legendary in the book world. Founded in 1974, Arion was birthed from the ashes of another great San Francisco institution, the Grabhorn Press, established by Edwin and Robert Grabhorn in 1919. When Grabhorn Press closed in 1965, its extensive collection of type and machinery found new life under a partnership between Robert Grabhorn and Andrew Hoyem, who’d previously published the work of Beat poets at the Auerhahn Press.
Arion Press pairs great artists with great literature to create beautiful books by hand. It publishes several limited editions every year, each conceptually unique and printed from metal types cast on-site. The production facility includes a letterpress shop with a one-of-a-kind collection of historic metal typefaces, a type foundry now in continuous operation for over 100 years, and a complete hand book bindery, all housed in a 14,000-square-foot industrial building in San Francisco’s Presidio National Park.
Every book Arion creates has its pages cast, set, printed, and bound by hand—all in one single facility. Arion’s foundry has updated its antique “hot type” machinery with a digital interface, allowing pages to be transmitted from a computer directly to the nineteenth-century Monotype caster. This process still casts individual letters, but unlike the traditional system that relies on a punched paper tape for its input, text can be edited in advance rather than having to recast to fix mistakes.
“Everybody’s experience working with these books is so tactile; it’s a very intimate process” Rolph Blythe as director, said. However, Arion’s editions are also different from most letterpress books, as each project represents a unique collaboration between fine artist and author or text, with print, runs typically ranging from 250 to 400 copies.
Each project is a limited edition, with tiered offerings from limited to deluxe including various add-ons as the price increases. Arion subscribers commit to purchasing a copy of every new edition and receive a 30 percent discount on most titles, plus the chance to purchase deluxe editions before the wider public.
According to a business insider; finebooksmagazine.com. Source of photos: internet