Deaf Business Spotlight: Dirtybeardpress (Rochester, NY)

April 7, 2017




ALEX: Hello! For today’s Deaf Business Spotlight we will feature Dirtybeardpress, a letterhead press and screen printing business in Rochester, NY. They have been in operation since 2010.


The owner’s name is Laural Hartman and she uses antique printing presses, some of which are made in 1890 and weighs from 250 to 2,000 pounds.


Check it out!


SARAH: Hi! This is Sarah Gordon, Community Curator for Rochester, New York.


LAURAL: Hi, I’m Laural Hartman. I’m the owner of dirtybeardpress. This is my studio.


This is my go-to printer. It’s name is Peter. This printing technique is called letterpressing.


Color looks good. I’m going to send it to my client.


Many people like the feel of letterpress technique as opposed to digital print, especially the Deaf because it’s tactile.


These are some examples of my screen-printed shirts. There are fox, giraffe, and owl designs.


I’m sure many of you have wondered why I’ve named this business dirtybeardpress. I had two old English sheepdogs and after they drink water, they’d have wet, dripping beards. I love my dogs and they were my inspiration.


I call this one “Little Peter.” This is my baby. It was the first press I bought and I would never sell it.


I remember the day I brought my first press home and I remember thinking, “What did I just do? I have this 250 pound printing press in the middle of my living room. Now what?”


This one was made in 1890. It’s older than my grandparents!


I share this building with 30 other artists. I feel a part of this community. Sometimes I even forget  that I’m deaf. The people here are familiar with our culture and they know how to work with us. They even get their pen and paper or phone ready. Some even gesture. Some know signs even though they’re not involved with the community. That’s nice. I’m fortunate to have my business here.


ALEX: You can check out her Instagram page at @dirtybeardpress and her website at If you’re in Rochester, you can check out her studio!


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