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Sarah McCoy

Welcome to The Permanent Collection Letterpress + Design Studio (@thepcpress). The Permanent Collection is located in downtown Des Moines, Iowa in the vibrant East Village neighborhood. Sarah established the press in 2007 with the acquisition of her first press, a Vandercook SP-15. The Permanent Collection is a studio specializing in contemporary design, fine press products, and vintage printing.

The Permanent Collection is a full-service design studio for graphic design, identity, branding, business cards, postcards, social stationery, greeting cards, broadsides/posters, birth announcements, wedding invitations and any other custom printed work. In this day and age of digital dominance, there has been a marked response to The Permanent Collection's hand-inked, hand-cranked letterpress creations. Sarah's background in graphic design allows her to create meaningful solutions, unique imagery and gorgeous typography to visual communication."I like to think The Permanent Collection has a "permanent" place in the celebrations and marked moments in my clients' lives." 


The Presses

Letterpress products are printed on a late 1950s Vandercook SP-15, 1916 Chandler and Price, 1923 Chandler & Price, or 1940s Heidelberg Windmill Printing Presses. Sarah also has a few other smaller presses that she takes for "show & tell." Each print is unique, hand-fed and mixed with custom ink. Designs are created with polymer plates, metal type or woodtype.

The Designer/Printer

Sarah received her B.A. from The University of Iowa in 1999 in Graphic Design and Journalism. After completing her degree she went to Austin, Texas to work as a graphic designer in a corporate design group for National Instruments. In 2001 Sarah began graduate studies, receiving her M.A. in 2003 and M.F.A. in 2005 also from the University of Iowa in Graphic Design. Sarah also received a Graduate Certificate from The University of Iowa Center for the Book in 2006 with a concentration in Letterpress and Artists Books. She is a full time professor at Drake University in Art + Design, Graphic Design. Sarah’s work has been featured in several publications, most recently 1,000 More Greetings: Creative Correspondence for All Occasions (1000 Series), Rockport Publications and exhibitions in galleries at Viterbo University, Portland, Minneapolis, Asheville, New Haven, and internationally. Her artist books are part of several University Libraries, such as Yale, Wesleyan, UC at Santa Barbara Davidson and The University of California Irvine Library. She has presented her letterpress research both nationally and internationally most notable at ATYPI's (Association Typographique Internationale) annual conference in Brighton, England entitled, “Typographic Form and the Permanence of Letterpress Type” and in an essay entitled: “Analogue Aesthetics.” “The Means by Which We Find Our Way: Observations on Design,” Waikato Institute of Technology in Hamilton, New Zealand, 2008.