Laughing Owl Press: Personalizing art through letterpress printing

Laughing Owl Press: Personalizing art through letterpress printing

McKean County | Allegheny National Forest & Surrounds

Andrea and Joe Lanich started Laughing Owl Press in a two-car garage in New Jersey, selling on Etsy.

They have since traded in their jobs as an architect and engineer to move home and open a storefront in the Pennsylvania Wilds, counting themselves among the approximately 200 larger letterpress printers in the United States.

“We moved back to raise a family, and we really enjoy it here. We’re always trying to push that with younger people. If you’re an internet-based business, this is a really great place to be,” Joe said.

Their main focus is custom printing for weddings, as well as corporate marketing pieces. They ship internationally — China, Singapore, France, Australia — as well as all over the United States.

“Letterpress used to be a trade, but as with so many trades that become obsolete, it’s become an art form. We see it as both,” Joe added.

With the majority of their equipment coming from the 1900s, the studio is a melding of modern design with old world application.

Aside from being a burgeoning business, it has also become a community meeting place. People stop to talk, watch, and gather. They’re greeted by Ruby, the family’s dog, who is part welcoming committee and part security detail.  In addition to their own unique products, the Laughing Owl Press Co. also offers a shopping experience where visitors can find fun gifts and mementos that reflect their visit in the Pennsylvania Wilds. They also offer creative workshops and community events.

Aside from being a burgeoning business, it has also become a community meeting place. People stop to talk, watch, and gather. They’re greeted by Ruby, the family’s dog, who is part welcoming committee and part security detail.  In addition to their own unique products, the Laughing Owl Press Co. also offers a shopping experience where visitors can find fun gifts and mementos that reflect their visit in the Pennsylvania Wilds. They also offer creative workshops and community events.

As operations go, Andrea is the creative force, while Joe is the sales and public relations guru.

“We approach everything with a level of precision and care. For us it isn’t just — look at the impression we made on the front of a paper — we try to take it to the next level because the customers we work with expect the best,” Andrea said. 
Indeed, Joe and Andrea’s passion for the area that they live has driven much of their efforts in uptown Kane. They purchased the historic Broadbent-Stiteler building that houses Laughing Owl Press at 59 N. Fraley St. and have been working ever since to make it more than just the place where their business is located. After years of collaborations and renovations, the site serves as a true model for how community members can play a hands-on role in positively impacting the place they call home.


In 2017-18, the Lanichs obtained a facade grant offered by Pennsylvania Route 6 and the Pennsylvania Wilds, which allowed them to update the front of their building, and throughout the project they ensured that the historical charm and character stayed intact. Soon thereafter, they realized that the three-story building also offered a unique opportunity to partner with more organizations to make even greater impacts in the community. The Lanichs partnered with the nonprofit PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, which was looking for an office space that could also serve entrepreneurs participating in the Wilds Cooperative of PA network that it managed, and offered the nonprofit the second floor space. PA Wilds Center was able to acquire grants and funding from many partners, including the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to renovate the second floor for its purposes, while also increasing the energy efficiency of the space and lowering costs for the building owners. In September 2023, PA Wilds Center officially opened the PA Wilds Media Lab in that space, enabling hundreds of local businesses and organizations to tap into the technology and spaces to grow their operations.

By Katie Weidenboerner-Deppen

The Laughing Owl Press is a creative maker member of the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania. Learn more about Laughing Owl Press and leave them a review or recommendation on their WCO profile.


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