Brought to St. Augustine by Flagler College, Ryan Tempro graduated with a double major in Fine Art and Graphic Design. Now he’s the driving force behind local letterpress printer M.C. Pressure. The job allows him to get creative and print the witty, artistic products – like postcards and coasters – that we just can’t get enough of.
- Hustle: Director of Imagination at M.C. Pressure
- Talent: Full-time letterpress printer; part time amateur pizza maker
- Life Goal: To travel and meet other letterpress printers around the world
What’s your connection to St. Augustine?
Flagler College brought me here to St. Augustine. I am originally from Bradenton, Florida which is just south of Tampa on the Gulf Coast. I double majored in Fine Art and Graphic Design. After I graduated, I went to New York to work with an artist on her project at MoMA and after it was completed, I decided to come back here to St. Augustine and I’ve been here ever since.
What kind of training do you have?
Even though I went to Flagler for a similar(ish) study I didn’t learn anything about letterpress printing (or pizza making) in school other than what it was. At the time, there was a small stationery shop in town that had a letterpress and I got a job there working for them. I learned a lot of the basics on how to print letterpress, and from there, all of my knowledge about the craft has been self taught. I’ve found old manuals, asked colleagues in the trade, looked up youtube video and done any research I can. At the end of the day, it’s about making a lot of mediocre prints until you figure it all out. Each machine is different and once you get the hang of how it operates you can dial it in more and more until it’s just right.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of my job probably is getting to work with talented creatives! People email us and ask for quotes on amazing projects they have coming up and we love when things work out to be able to work together. A lot of what we make day to day are things like business cards and wedding invitations. We also have our own product line, but when something new and different comes through the shop it’s always exciting to try and figure it out.
How long did it take to perfect your craft?
Oh man, I don’t know. I’ve been letterpress printing since 2011 and there is still a ton I don’t know or things that I struggle with on press. I’ve learned a lot and as soon as I think I have something down to a science, something new pops up and there is always more to refine.
Where do you get your ideas?
I enjoy traveling when I can and like to find inspiration in things we see. Last year I had the chance to go to Japan for 2 weeks, and it was such a great opportunity to find inspiration in culture, art, food and nature.
How big is your team?
Currently M.C. Pressure is comprised of myself and Dani Simmons. Dani does a lot of our graphics work now, though it being just the two of us, we both do a lot of different tasks in the shop.
Who are your local favs?
Sheesh, this is hard. I hope I can get everyone…We share an office building with Future Friends (formerly Spacecamp Co.). You can find me most weekends at The Blue Hen Cafe and then Southern Horticulture because we like to garden and plants. My favorite place for a drink is Catch 27, their food is also exceptional. I’ve been getting into tiki drinks and they have a bar built to be more rum forward. Other notable friends in town are Streaming the Bullet Food Truck, Jenna Alexander Studio and Juniper Market for a coffee break, Feather and Bloom for a sweet gift, and The Hyppo of course!
What would you like to see happen in St. Augustine?
I’m no city planner or engineer but a new system to get traffic in and out of downtown and the surrounding areas would be great.
Ryan’s words to live by… “Life is too short to not eat pizza” – Me