Foolscap Press

Foolscap Press

Bindery and Publishers

Foolscap Press is Lawrence G. Van Velzer and Peggy Gotthold. They started Foolscap Press in 1990 after many years in the business in order to publish books under their own imprint. All of the editions are designed, printed and bound at the Press. Peggy Gotthold worked as a bookbinder at Schuberth Bookbindery in San Francisco for a number of years, as well as at Arion Press. She trained in letterpress printing and typesetting at Cowell Press (UCSC), Yolla Bolly Press and Artichoke Press. Larry operated his own press and worked as a printer and typesetter at Arion Press. His father taught printing in technical high schools and was a letterpress printer who learned printing from his father, who published a newspaper printed on a handpress in the 1870's. 

Foolscap Press is located in the small coastal community of Santa Cruz, along the central coast of California, not far over the hills from San Francisco. The printing facility, bindery and their home surround a kitchen garden in the summer and bird sanctuary in the winter. The pressroom is set up with two platen presses, two proof presses and an assortment of other letterpress equipment. Books are printed from either lead type or from work generated from the computer and made into photopolymer plates, then mounted for letterpress printing. They publish their own original first editions or texts, and produce work for other publishers and fine presses as well. Peggy and Larry work as a creative team, collaborating on all aspects of book production, from conception through marketing.

Foolscap Press is known for their inventive, finely-made, handcrafted books of literature published in highly limited editions. The proprietors’ complimentary backgrounds inform their publications, combining experiences of printing, drawing, literature, bookbinding, printmaking, and puppetry to bring both depth and performance to their work. Historical and newly conceived visual elements consistently compliment their well-told stories. This is more than evident in a varying array of titles including Cyrano de Bergerac’s Other Worlds: Journey to the Moon, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Direction of the Road, their own The Tower of the Winds, Michael Katakis’s Despatches, and their 2015 publications of The Story of a Fisherman, from the Arabian Nights, translated by Edward William Lee, and The Saint John’s Fragment: Against the Odds by poet David Annwn and calligrapher Thomas Ingmire.

Lawrence G. Van Velzer
Peggy Gotthold