Norman Clayton studied typography and photography at the Rhode Island School of Design, and graduated in 1990 with a suitcase full of books he designed, printed and bound by hand. The RISD typeshop was the place where his appreciation of letterforms and letterpress was developed because that was where all his passions; typography, printing, photography and book binding came together, but it was in high school, a decade before when he drew his first unique alphabet.
For 12 years, beginning in 1991, he was the printer and manager of One Heart Press in the San Francisco Bay Area. The shop was named One Heart Press because of the mutual appreciation for letterpress shared by Michael Osborne (owner) and Norman. During those days, he learned how to print well and stayed busy printing job work, posters and books. In 2003, he began working more closely with his mentor, Jim Wehlage. Around 2006, upon his retirement, Jim offered to sell Norman his shop, Classic Letterpress, which included Adrian Wilson's KSBAZ Heidelberg Cylinder, stone, and a portion of Adrian's library. Norman moved the shop to Oakland and continued his focus on high quality printing.
In 2010, he moved his family and letterpress shop to the beautiful Ojai valley in Southern California. With the move he was able to triple the size of his shop, acquire more equipment and type, while maintaining his client base in the Bay Area. Norman continues working happily, with a view of the mountains, as a printer, typographer and teacher for younger printers.