Instagram: @alex__swanson

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Artist Interview::Daniel Heffernan

I met Daniel in my freshman year at Point Loma. He's a really talented guy, both in the water and out... He has been working pretty hard on building his letterpress studio down in San Diego. Daniel really loves and believes in what he does, and puts his heart into each print...

"Clove St Press is a top-notch letterpress studio.
What makes Clove St Press different than other shops is the craftsman’s hands and eyes. Every business card, invitation, poster is printed and inspected for constancy and quality. When Clove St Press does your prints, you have the assurance and guarantee that every print you receive is of the highest quality."

How did you get into typography/photography?
Its interesting because I got into design because I was first into photography and wanted to explore other ways I could communicate. And through design I became more interested in typography and learning about how to control a message through the type I choose.
What's your favorite part about shooting photographs/working with fonts?
What interests me about photos and prints is that through each you're calling someones attention to something specific. Just by displaying a photo or a print, I'm essentially saying that its content is important.
Are you interested in any other mediums of art?
I'm interested in cinematography as a medium, but not planning on making any films. haha, I just think it's rad.

What's the most challenging part of your craft?
I think the most challenging thing about letterpress printing, for me, is patience. Even though I choose to do these old school techniques (letterpress printing & film photography), I still am influenced my this digital age of instant gratification. But with this stuff, if you can do it quickly... it probably sucks.
What's the story behind Clove St. Press?
Clove St Press was born out of a naive dream about letterpress printing. I was in a printmaking class with Bill Kelly of Brighton Press and he, recognizing my interests with language and communication, suggested that I might like doing letterpress. Bill is the best printer I've ever seen and a deeply insightful artist. So I spend the whole summer of 2011 looking for just the right press and eventually found it in Oklahoma City. So I pulled the trigger and shipped it out here. Now I'm running a letterpress shop where I'm printing custom design for a variety of clients.

Who/what influences you?
I'm influenced greatly by who I'm surrounded with, my friends, roommates, and local artists. Certain aesthetic influences have been from famous artists like Jerry Usellman or Rauschenberg, but the meaning & concepts behind the work is usually derived from specific 1 on 1 conversations I've had.

What keeps you motivated?
I stay motivated by staying in wonder. I really enjoy the pursuit of new knowledge but after I understand it or it "clicks", then I don't really know what to do with it. But in that pursuit I think that is where I'm actually motivated and make more stuff.
What's next for Daniel Heffernan?
Well I'm getting married soon, so that is quite a landmark. Very excited for that. I'm going to be promoting and building up Clove St Press because I think there is really a space for high-quality letterpress that is printed by an artist. I hope to expand this business further than Southern California because I love printing diverse design & fine art.

If you want to get in contact with Daniel, check out his website at
To place an order or even ask any questions, email Daniel at:

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