Type Foundry Apprentice

Company Overview

Arion Press/M&H Type

Arion Press/M&H Type Website
Arion Press pairs great artists with great literature to create beautiful books by hand. Our production facility includes a letterpress shop with a historic collection of typefaces, a type foundry operating machinery from 100 years ago, and a complete hand book bindery. We rely on our antique equipment, and the people who can operate it, to help us with our mission to preserve these crafts for future generations. We welcome new colleagues who are excited to be a part of a long tradition of printing, book arts, and manufacturing in the Bay Area.

Job Categories

  • Hours: Full-time
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  • Industry: Advanced Manufacturing
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  • Position is Entry-level
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Job Duties

Do you take apart small appliances and put them back together, just to see how they work? This will be an excellent challenge for you!

During the first two years, apprentices will help cast type for Arion Press books as well as composition work and fonts for customers. They will learn to set up, operate, monitor, repair, and maintain the incredibly intricate typecasting equipment. In the second two years, apprentices will continue to develop their skills more independently and have the opportunity to learn some of the more unique casting equipment.

Duties include:
-Maintenance, repair, and cleaning of hot metal type casting equipment
-Setting up casters for in-house and customer orders
-Wrapping type and packaging it for shipping
-General filing and admin work including phone and email answering
-Inventory and cataloguing

It is light industrial work in a metal shop, and the ideal candidate will have mechanical aptitude and be comfortable working around machinery. While there are occasional opportunities to learn basic letterpress printing skills, the primary focus of the apprenticeship is in the type foundry.

The type foundry is of huge importance to the letterpress community, and to the survival of this craft. This apprenticeship is not intended to be a short-term job, but ideally a long-term commitment to our mission of teaching and training people to cast type as an important link in continuing the letterpress tradition. Because of this, and because the casting equipment is very old and complicated, it requires many hours of hands-on training in order to become an independent operator. For this reason, we ask apprentices to agree to a four-year term upon completion of a 90-day trial period.

Job Requirements

Must have mechanical aptitude and interest in machinery. Tinkerers encouraged to apply!

Other requirements:
-Able to learn technical material from manuals and direct instruction
-Able to wear protective clothing including coveralls and protective footwear
-Able to work as a collaborative team with colleagues
-High school diploma/GED

Skills/Experience Preferred

-Understanding of/experience with letterpress printing techniques and metal type
-At least one year of full-time work experience, ideally in a production/manufacturing environment
-Familiarity with safety protocols




Benefits include 5 days of vacation in the first year, 10 vacation days in the second year, 8 government holidays, paid sick leave as mandated by the city of San Francisco; Kaiser health insurance, dental coverage through Delta Dental with a partial employee contribution; regular staff development outings to arts organizations/institutions in the Bay Area; your name in the colophon of each book, one copy of each book worked on.


M-F, 8;30-5pm

Resume Required


Cover letter Required


Other Application Requirements