Woodcut for “Ohio Love” cover (photo by Bobby Rosenstock)

The Making of Our “Ohio Love” Cover

Watch JustAJar Design Press’ Bobby Rosenstock create our January/February 2024 cover and learn more about his woodcut process. 

JustAJar Design Press in Marietta is one of just a handful of shops creating custom posters by way of woodcut and letterpress processes. Almost all the equipment it uses is antique. The shop’s paper cutter dates to the 1890s, while its two presses were built in the 1880s and 1960s. Its collection of letterpress type was assembled over time from antique stores and print-shop basements. 

In the fall, we contacted Bobby Rosenstock, who co-owns JustAJar Design Press with his wife, Sara, about crafting the cover for this year’s “Ohio Love” issue. We have long loved his work, and he agreed to take on the project. Following a quick video call during which we explained our general idea — a barn in a field with “Ohio Love” painted on the side — Bobby went to work crafting a few different mockups via pencil and iPad and shared them with us. After a couple tweaks, he began working, and we didn’t see the poster design again until he shared the finished product with us. 

JustAJar uses reductive and multiple-block methods of woodblock printing, meaning each poster typically involves four to six colors, and each color separation is carefully planned and carved by hand into a block of cherry, birch or luan plywood. Each print is created one at a time on a manually cranked flatbed press with oil-based inks. Aside from the text we added digitally at the bottom, everything you see on the cover of this magazine was done via the above process. 

For more information about JustAJarDesignPress, visit justajar.com.

Read our “30 Reasons to Love Our State” feature.