(Photo credit: Mark Reis)
Award-winning Ladyfingers Letterpress is an LGBTQ+ owned-and-operated stationery and gift brand based in Colorado Springs, CO founded by designer+printmaker couple, Arley Torsone and Morgan Calderini.
We launched our business in 2011 when our own wedding invitation went viral and we quickly became very busy producing (totally insane!) one-of-a-kind wedding invitations for the most creative and amazing clients. After the weddings were over, our clients would come back and ask if we had any letterpress cards to celebrate holidays, birthdays, etc. As a result, we decided to launch a humble line of greeting cards at the 2013 National Stationery Show and to our surprise, the line took off and our products are now sold in over 800 stores around the world.
In 2016 we opened our flagship store in Colorado Springs where we also host workshops and classes and offer a wide variety of boutique stationery and locally-made gifts. From this post we operate our letterpress and design headquarters and customers can see the presses running and witness our products being made.
In recent years, we have used our platform to promote women's, LGBTQ+, POC and immigrant rights, using our "power of the press" to produce work that helps mobilize social movements.
We believe that you don't have to be a large company to make a big impact. We take pride in making things by hand, locally, and sustainably. If it's not made in our shop, you better believe we've done our best to research other environmentally-friendly businesses to collaborate with.
Ladyfingers Letterpress has been featured by The New York Times, Forbes, Google, Martha Stewart Weddings, Vogue and more, and is also the proud recipient of the 2015 Card of the Year as awarded by the Greeting Card Association.
Letterpress Operator, Studio Manager, Magic Maker
Morgan Calderini surrounds herself with rather odd yet satisfying specialties: hot air balloon building, printmaking, and pie baking are all things she takes very seriously. After having received her BFA in Printmaking from RISD in 2007, Calderini chose to redefine the hierarchical printshop archetype by establishing and managing Rhode Islands only community printshop at AS220 with a grant from AmeriCorps VISTA. She has taught letterpress at the AS220 Printshop and Penland School of Crafts. When she’s not baking blueberry pies or hunting for long lost litho stones that people have been using as door stops, she’s flying Atlas, her 70 foot, 54,000 cu. ft. hot air balloon that she built in 2007.
Designer, Letterer, Illustratorer
Growing up, Arley was that kid that always carried around a sketchbook filled with scribbles, constantly documenting the madness and wonders of the world around them. They never stopped drawing, and never stopped turning everyday interactions into golden nuggets of comic relief. OK, maybe not golden but at least a niiiiice brushed nickel!
Arley graduated with a BFA from Parsons School of Design in 2004 where they rebelled against technology and continued to practice their love for typography and lettering by drawing with their real, actual hands. Arley also studied a term abroad at Central Saint Martins in London (and aaaalmost never came back to the US!) and has taught hand-lettering in exotic destinations such as Miami, Los Angeles, Denver and Reykjavik, Iceland.
Whens they're not demonstrating poor posture by hunching over their drawing surface, Arley loves to cook and make fun of people who are trying too hard to look cool on the internet. They're also an honorary lifelong member of the Dirt Palace, a feminist art collective, and the Society of Experimental Typographers which is exactly what it sounds like.