Out and About with the Quill: Signal-Return Letterpress Shop

One of the chief benefits of living in Windsor is the relative easy access of big-city amusements across the border in Detroit. One such amusement is the Eastern Market, the USA’s largest historic market. Despite the fact that it is a mere 30 minute drive from my house, I’d never been, so my brother and I went to meet a Detroit-dwelling friend there. We had no real purpose in mind, aside from seeing what was there.

I quickly found a new purpose.

Through the spitting rain I spotted what appeared to be a printer’s manicule affixed to the side of a brick building located in an out-of-the-way side street. I went to investigate and found a delightful little print shop, which basically made the whole trip worthwhile.


The Signal-Return Letterpress Shop, a delightful little storefront selling letterpress prints with an attached workshop in which local artists ply their trade.


A friendly sign leads the way.


Inside was a letterpress lover’s dream.


The retail store offered a number of cool prints.



I was tickled to see a familiar name—Jim Westergard. We’re publishing his book, Oddballs, in November.


The workshop was full of loads of type.


And tons of other cool printing equipment.

Naturally, I couldn’t leave without procuring a souvenir for myself! I picked up a cool bookish letterpress poster from Kennedy Prints.


Inspiring for getting publishing work done, no?

So if you happen find yourself in Detroit at Eastern Market, scout some locations beforehand and don’t miss to Signal-Return!


Even their flyers are great!

portraitHope you enjoyed this little trip with me! Let me know what you think in the comments below.



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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.