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Handmade Letterpress Christmas Cards Available from The Sign of the George Press & Gallery at King University

Christmas CardsBRISTOL, Tenn., Nov. 16, 2015 – King University’s Digital Media Art & Design (DMAD) program has created handmade letterpress Christmas cards utilizing a turn-of-the-century platen press at The Sign of the George Press & Gallery located on King’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn. Give a truly personalized touch to the Christmas cards you send out this year to family and friends. The cards may be purchased at the Tornado Alley Shoppe in store or online at

“The Christmas cards are made from five different blocks with five different scenes including a nativity scene, the Wise men travelling by camel, Magi nativity scene, Star of Bethlehem, and old-fashioned Christmas greetings,” says Joe Strickland, assistant professor of Photography and Digital Media at King University. “These are strikingly beautiful cards. They are quite meaningful to King, as they are created with blocks that were originally here when the press was first used years ago.”

The cards may be purchased in packs of five, 10, or 20; there will also be compilation packs available with all five designs. This white 5x7 inch vellum card with black inked design comes with matching envelopes. The back of the cards are stamped with The Sign of the George Press & Gallery logo. The inside is blank, so you can make it truly personal with your own words. 

Funds received from the sale of the Christmas cards will go back into The sign of the George Press & Gallery to revamp the space, and toward the purchase of additional materials for future projects. Part of the funds will also go to King’s Annual Fund for Scholarships & Programs for the enrichment of both students and programs at King.

The Sign of the George Press & Gallery is managed by King’s DMAD program with assistance from Bristol, Tenn., native and resident of Abingdon, Va., David Winship, who serves as an adjunct professor for Appalachian Studies at King.

In an article for A! Magazine for the Arts David Winship said, “My father, George P. ‘Pat’ Winship, was the inspiration for my writing poetry. During his [32-year] tenure at King College, his poetry graced Christmas cards and many chapbooks, often produced at his letterpress shop [The Sign of the George Press & Gallery], where I got ink in my blood.” Pat Winship began the first letterpress operations at King in 1974.

Working alongside Winship is senior DMAD student Tessa Klingensmith. She will graduate from King in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Digital Media Art & Design with a concentration in Photography and minor in English.

“This is a great option for the King community - students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends - to send out these special cards this Christmas season,” says Strickland. “This is a unique resource we have here at King, and we are putting it to good use. We hope everyone will enjoy this first of many projects to come.”

For additional information, contact Joe Strickland at 423.652.4709,, or visit


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.