Doodling and occasionally writing for magazines was about as low as I thought I could possibly sink, that is until one day when through a series of bad choices, mishaps and preposterous coincidences I found myself working on a movie set. Luckily no one staged an intervention - I’m ashamed to admit I’ve kept up the practice, and that I love it.

Working as a letterpress designer and printer and as an illustrator gave me an interest in period design, illustration, and popular media; and the history of information technology – paper, writing instruments, presses, type founding, etc.


The more I read about these subjects, the more my interest turned to passion. Along the way I’ve collected a huge reference library, large collections of period magazines, newspapers, comics, posters and ephemera, and a heap of useless knowledge, all of which I’ve been able to draw on to recreate some accurate period paper props – everything from pens, pencils, letters, notebooks, drawings, paintings and legal papers to large maps, deeds, almanacs and books. In the case of some movies like National Treasure: Book of Secrets, The Alamo, The Legend of Zorro, and Infamous, I supplied literally hundreds of props.

Ross MacDonald