Bruce Licher is a musician, artist, and designer who founded Independent Project Press after learning the art of letterpress printing at the Women's Graphic Center in downtown Los Angeles in early 1982. His initial projects centered around creating album covers, postcards, and promotional materials for his band Savage Republic. It didn't take long before he was producing work for other Los Angeles underground music groups, along with a growing number of clients in the Los Angeles design community. In addition to packaging and releasing music on his own record label, Independent Project Records, and his other music-related clients, Independent Project Press also produces elegant and creative business stationery, invitations, wine labels, promotional stamp sheets and booklets, and numerous other pieces of letterpress-printed ephemera for clients large and small. Licher was nominated twice for a Grammy Award for his album packaging, and has been credited with starting the trend in letterpress-printed CD and record packaging using industrial-style chipboard. His graphic design and letterpress work has been featured in two major design exhibitions at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City, and has also been exhibited in California, Arizona, and Paris, France. After 17 years living and working in Sedona, Arizona, Licher and his wife, the artist Karen Nielsen Licher, have relocated Independent Project Press to the Eastern Sierra town of Bishop, California.
With the current explosion of interest in letterpress printing, many are looking to see how new work can be influenced by the past. Active since 1982, Bruce Licher’s Independent Project Press is a contemporary studio that has bridged technological eras and produced an unparalleled body of work. It has culled from the past while simultaneously turning it on its head with a distinct visual vocabulary that continues to influence current aesthetics. This book stands as a major documentation of one of the most influential letterpress studios currently in existence.
This book is the first extensive monograph on Bruce Licher's Independent Project Records & Press. P22 Publications has produced this 240-page book displaying the limited edition, hand-made work of IPR&P, from mechanical process work to finished works of art—for clients such as REM, Stereolab, and Camper Van Beethoven—with insights into the creative process along the way. This book is a profound reminder of the value of the hand-made and how it can interface with the mass produced.