Fine Printer and Type Caster
Patrick Reagh became a printer at age eleven, when his father purchased a small used, Kelsey press for him as a gift. Beginning in 1968 he apprenticed as a union type compositor at Andresen Typographics for five years, where his training encompassed the transition from hot metal to the new “cold type” (phototypesetting) technology. Once he attained journeyman status, Reagh’s desire to be a musician took precedence over his interest in printing, and he took a break from the trade to work as a jazz pianist.
Following the death of Saul Marks in 1974, Lillian Marks (both Saul and Lillian were friends of Reagh’s father, William), hired Patrick to work at the Plantin Press in Los Angeles. Here he learned the basics of classical typography and presswork, and when the Plantin Press ceased its commercial operation in 1981, he was able to purchase the press’s equipment and go out on his own. After a one-year partnership with Vance Gerry, Reagh established his own imprint and moved his press from the Los Angeles area to Sebastopol in 1995.
Today, nestled among tall redwoods, surrounded by a few intrepid cannabis cultivators, Patrick’s studio (affectionately known as the Printing Barn) is a combined type foundry and printing atelier. There are four Monotype casters, one Supercaster, and three composition casters. There is also an Elrod machine that casts leads and slugs, or “clumps” as the British call them. Reagh has a complete run of many typefaces for casting including: Bembo, Ehrhardt, Fournier, Bulmer, Baskerville, Janson, Gills Sans, Univers, and among others. Patrick’s Printing Barn is also home to a Vandercook SP-15 proof press, a Colt’s Armory 10 x 15 handfed platen, a Heidelberg 10 x 15 Windmill, and a 28-inch Heidelberg cylinder press. The original 3 x 5 Kelsey tabletop press that his father gave him now rests atop a type galley stand in the foundry.
Patrick Reagh has received numerous awards for his work, among them the Western Books Awards, The Carl Hertzog Award, and The Oscar Lewis Award from the Book Club of California. The UCLA Williams Andrews Clark Memorial Library holds his archives. Patrick has collaborated on several titles for Nawakum Press, including Herman Melville’s The Chola Widow and Alan Loney’s In a Single Gesture. Reagh cast the type for and printed LOOM.