Printing Shakespeare

Shakesprints is about celebrating Shakespeare by printing beautiful Shakespearean illustrations on all applicable materials.  We aim to help people enjoy and learn from the dramatic variety, subtle nuances, and breathtaking eloquence contained across the Shakespearean Canon.

William Shakespeare and the Dramatic Arts reminded us and still do today what it means to be human: to love, to suffer, to develop and change, to see things differently, to buck stereotypes, to articulate feelings with authenticity and poetry, to honor the importance of our inner lives and interpersonal relationships.  Shakespeare is complex and vast so illustrated scenes from his plays showing the characters in action with their quotations can enhance one's understanding and appreciation.

The Shakesprints imagery is principally derived from old chromolithograph illustrations, now in the public domain, which were delicately extracted from their original sources and scanned in ultra high resolution.  They come from restored family heirlooms of Shakesprints founder Crispin Clarke, and represent years worth of painstaking effort to assemble.  Graphic design is by co-founder Betsy Ehlen Hall, with over 25 years of award-winning industry experience.

Chromolithography was a rare 19th century printing technique whereby an image was engraved on a stone plate and oil-based paints were added, then passed through a printing press with a sheet of paper.  Each color in the image was separately drawn onto a new stone and applied to the paper one at a time.  It was not unusual for twenty to twenty-five stones to be used on a single image, thus they were extremely expensive and took months to produce by very skilled workers.  These many layers of pigment give chromolithographs their brilliant deep colors and durability.

We hope you enjoy our contribution to the enduring legacy of Shakespeare.  As Prospero says at the end of The Tempest, Our project is to please.

Shakesprints is based in Petaluma, California and was launched in 2017 after many years of prior development.

 
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding than a dream.
— PUCK, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, 5.3
 
 SHAKESPRINTS FOUNDER, CRISPIN CLARKE, WITH THE 1876 DELUXE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE THAT HE INHERITED FROM HIS GRANDFATHER.

SHAKESPRINTS FOUNDER, CRISPIN CLARKE, WITH THE 1876 DELUXE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE THAT HE INHERITED FROM HIS GRANDFATHER.

 THE OLD SHAKESPEARE COMPLETE WORKS WITH CHROMOLITHOGRAPH ILLUSTRATIONS.

THE OLD SHAKESPEARE COMPLETE WORKS WITH CHROMOLITHOGRAPH ILLUSTRATIONS.