In this day of mostly disposable and intangible communications - we read paperbacks, magazines, newspapers and faxes that we throw out, e-mails that we delete, watch videos that we turn off and we make telephone calls on which we hang up - Thornwillow Press, in contrast, is committed to making books that last. Our mission is to enhance the relationship between the reader and the written word. With this as our guiding principle, our paper, printing, binding and books are meant to be powerful media for communicating and preserving ideas in the modern world.
In 1985 Thornwillow Press was founded by Luke Ives Pontifell, at the time Luke was still in high school. Inspired by a course in printing and binding and the old books in his parents' library, Pontifell set out to produce books himself. He printed the first, a children's story by a family friend, and bound the edition on the kitchen table. During his summer vacations from Harvard College, Pontifell continued to print and bind books. He brought the finished editions to bookstores slowly building a small following of collectors. After graduating and with four titles on his list, he found that what had started as a labor of love had evolved into a small business.
Here at Thornwillow Press we make books that last. Our goal is to present the author's words in a manner that enhances the relationship between the reader and the text by adding an aesthetic dimension. We endeavor to make our books a powerful and enduring means of communicating ideas. As a printer and publisher of handmade, limited edition books, our titles vary widely in content. The title list ranges from President Barack Obama's Inaugural Address, to a collection of George Washington documents compiled by W.W. Abbott, to a volume of short stories by John Updike. Despite the diversity of our list, the hope is that our books stand together as a collection that adds up to more than the sum of its parts and is united by the attention to detail and craftsmanship that we try to bring to everything we make. For a complete list of our publications click here. Discover the many institutions that collect Thornwillow books by clicking here.
In addition to our publications, we also design and manufacture fine paper and stationery. Our team of master engravers and letterpress printers are dedicated to producing superior design and quality. While we design and manufacture correspondence papers for some of the finest purveyors of stationery, we have also launched our own lines of cards which draw from the aesthetic vocabulary of our books and from the rich traditions of classical engraving and letterpress printing.