Chris Stern Passes

jim_rimmer's picture

For the second time in a month we have lost a fine typographer. Chris Stern of Grey Spider Press in Sedro Wooley passed away last night after a short battle with cancer. He was 56 years of age. As he was to many, Chris was a good friend. His passion for the craft and in perticular the typefounding part of it was intense. He is survived by his wife, Jules, a sister in Seattle and a daughter.

He was much too young to leave, and I'll miss his infectious chuckle and ready grin.

Jim Rimmer

jim_rimmer's picture

My apologies for the typo "particular".

Alessandro Segalini's picture

Nice of you to post this, I sympathize with you in your grief.

bieler's picture


I am so astonished to hear of this. I had correspondence with him maybe a couple of months ago and he never let on.

Sorry for your, and our, loss.

God speed.


jim_rimmer's picture


Chris had no inkling of any illness. It hit him like a low belly ache, and progressed very quickly. It was just one of life's unaccountable things. So sad.


tamye's picture

We exhibited some of Chris' amazing letterpress work at TypeCon2006 in Boston, and I had the great fortune to get to know him a little bit through phone and email. He was a real sweetheart. Everyone who knew him spoke highly of him, and his rich and innovative work spoke of a person with a great spirit. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

jlt's picture

well, this just sucks.

i have spoken to him a few times and have been a fan of his work for years.

i was looking forward to hearing him speak at typecon 07!

this is so sad.


jlt : : rnrmf!

Steve Wells's picture

I was shocked to receive the invite to Chris Stern's show and eulogy at the School of Visual concepts for today, as I had seen him in October and had not a clue that he was ill. I'm so glad that Jules Faye, his wife and artistic partner, remembered me and that I was still on the Grey Spider Press mailing list.

I had the pleasure of working with, and becoming friends with Chris, while working as a typographer with him in the mid 80's at Thomas & Kennedy Typographers in Seattle. As desktop publishing took over the industry, he was inspired to move on to his true love: letterpress.

I stumbled upon the press that he delighted in cleaning up and using for Grey Spider, in a damp, scary basement during the estate sale of a crazy local eccentric. It had it's perfect new home. I'm so glad that I braved lifting up the rubble, rat shit and tarp that covered it.

Oh, man, I wish I had recordings of his late night tirades against the "bastardization of classic fonts", by graphic designers of the time! If you didn't know him, you would have either thought he needed to be locked up or you would have fallen in love with him, as so many of us did. He will be sorely missed. A true artist in his own right!

Thanks for remembering him. _Steve Wells

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