Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Learning the art of Letterpress

Last weekend I hopped on a train to Leicester to meet Janet for a Letterpress Printing workshop held at the beautiful Botanic Gardens. After getting a wee bit lost finding the venue, we finally arrived and met the tutor Nick who showed us how to typeset using a traditional letterpress, and how to print from a linocut.

I chose a quote from It's a Wonderful Life (and from The Owl & the Pussycat), along with a picture of a happy moon. I have to admit my favourite part of the day was having access to the amazing collection of wooden and metal letters in a wide array of typefaces. Basically a graphic designer's dream! After I'd made a few copies of my moon print I chose some interesting letters to spell out my blog name.

Here's a quick video to show you briefly how a letterpress works, using Janet's lovely 'books' print. (You can see her final piece here). Lining up the composition takes longer than you'd think and it took a few tries to get an even print, but it was so much fun experimenting! It's hard to believe that books and newspapers used such a time consuming technique up until the middle of last century.

I'd definitely recommend trying a workshop of this kind, the time just flew by! After our class we visited some amazing vintage furniture shops, then met up with the very lovely B of Make Do and Spend and headed for some food. I had a great day out in Leicester and I'd forgotten just how easy it is to get there by train, so I'm looking forward to visiting again soon.



  1. Great post and great prints! Was so lovely to meet you in person - we'll definitely catch up again soon. B x

  2. I've just read Janet's post too. I would lived to do something like this. I tried lino cutting at college but to be let loose on a letterpress would be awesome.
    Great prints - I love the Owl and the Pussycat (and their beautiful pea green boat)

    1. It was so much fun! I'd definitely recommend searching out a similar class if you can. x


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