Metal and digital are in our blood. We learned to make books the old-fashioned way: one letter at a time. We also know how to turn on a computer. Because we've had our fingers and faces in the nitty gritty of metal type, we know that letters aren't just pictures of things. They are things. We treat things with respect.
All about Michael Russem, Principal. Michael Russem grew up in North Andover, Masachusetts, before moving to Syracuse, Florence, Athens, and now Cambridge (and Florence). He spent three years working at the Press & Letterfoundry of Michael & Winifred Bixler, where he learned almost everything he knows about the minutiae of letters and spacing and pages. He worked very briefly at Wild Carrot Letterpress, Horton Tank Graphics, and Warwick Press, before establishing physical offices for Kat Ran Press in 1999. (He spent New Year's Eve painting the floor.) When he's not designing books, he's looking at books or buying books or reading books or riding his bike or running or drawing or shopping, or looking at stamps.
Regarding Katherine Russem (d. 2009), Vice Principal. Having grown up in Syracuse, Katherine was anxious to move away to Florence and Cambridge. She didn't go to fancy schools. Her senses of design and what's right and wrong were more innate. She was a doer, not a thinker. Attentive and caring, she was the one who would turn into the 'attack dog' of the Office if you crossed us. She enjoyed eating bread, walking, resting, and sitting for portraits.
A Note on the Staff of Kat Ran Press. It's not just Michael. (Well, now it is). The staff has included Leah Allen, Kirsten Baringer, Mary Jane Dean, Stephanie Gibbs, Ella Gray, Corinne Gill, Phoebe Mathews, Melissa Schmechel, Jocelyn Webb, and Mollie Zanoni. Only two are still involved in bookmaking. The others have become an art director, landscape architect, artist, midwife, editor, environmental activist, designer, and a baker. They all had good ideas, were good company, and were very patient with us. We couldn't have done it without them.
A Note on Our Clients. Since its founding in 1994, the Staff of Kat Ran Press has designed books, portfolios, catalogues, and ephemera for 21st Editions, Goshen Editions, The Grolier Club, The Laureate Press, The Limited Editions Club, The Lone Oak Press, Oak Knoll Books, Robert Klein Gallery, Shambhala Publications, Sierras Press, Smith College, the Society of Printers, Tuttle Publishing, the Veatchs Arts of the Book, and Zea Mays Printmaking. Our presses have been used for projects for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Hudson Hills Press, Steven Kasher Gallery, Osiris Editions, Verse Press/Wave Books, Verso Limited Editions, and the William Eggleston Trust. They've all been good to us.