Posts categorised: Nomad Letterpress

    Two week July Workshop

    For two weeks in early July we welcomed 13 students from the University of Western Hungary in Sopron through an Erasmus scheme. Though on their summer break, the students were warned that this was to be no holiday and we spent the first day discussing what was to be their project for the duration of their trip. Our goal was to produce a 16pp book with each student responsible for the composition of a single page using type (foundry Caslon strictly off-limits) or their own wood-engraving or linocut.

    The group brought with them examples of their work. It was refreshing to see that as graphic design students they were encouraged to draw, engrave, paint, and even worked in sculpture as part of their degree, and it wasn’t long before they headed down to B&Q to buy a multi-pack of lino floor tiles. The majority of the students were new to letterpress so the first week was spent learning the basics of typesetting and printing, with a short intro to the Monotype casters, and an array of cards and posters were produced before work on the book began in the second week.

    The book, titled SZIA (meaning Hi in English), is printed on to a mixture of Matrix Fine Laid, and Bugra Butten papers. It is imposed using wood-engravings, linocuts and wood & metal types in an edition of 23 copies.

    It was a fantastic fortnight and a pleasure to work with such a talented, enthusiastic and spirited group of young people. The press now feels very quiet . . . and I wish they had taught me how to cook a proper Kolbász!


    I have used the ‘electricity danger’ warning sign as a starting point for both POWER CUT and MEGAVOLT which have been designed for the ‘VII Festival del Libro de artista y la pequeña edición 2014‘, a book fair in Barcelona whose topic this year is the absence of electricity.

    The triangle is composed of 1-em border rule out of which emerges the arrow shape, created using a selection of 12-, 18- and 24-point Monotype borders.

    The title has been set in the angular Stern typeface which was designed, cut and cast by Jim Rimmer (see Matrix 28 pp. 77-84) and the identification key has been hand-set in Grot 215. Each border unit has been identified by its serial number.

    MEGAVOLT and POWER CUT are both printed on Fedrigoni Sirio Limone, come in an edition of 36 and measure 350mm x 500mm.
    15 of each of these prints available in the shop:

    Monotype Borders. (Module One, Two, Three & Four).

    It is not easy to write an entertaining blog post about Monotype borders and their creative possibilities under various tabular layouts & colour combinations. So I’ll keep this brief…

    These posters, 4 in total, have been created using 12-, 18- 24- & 36-point Monotype borders which are arranged to form 24 rectangles of 12 x 18 ems (with a 12-point gap throughout). Twenty separate Monotype units have been used and the prints vary from one another due to different colour combinations and slight variations in composition.

    The borders are printed in three colours with the bottom rectangle rotating to the top on completion of each colour run meaning that each remaining rectangle moves down a section. I’ve used Figgins Sans Condensed (60-point) & Grotesque 9 (24-point) for the headings and Grotesque 215 & 216 for the identification chart.

    In Modules One & Two a 12-point rule has replaced the white space which alters the pattern more than expected. When using rule to block a white space accurately I used the Rouse saw and bowler plain – if the cutting is a fraction out the whole effect is altered.

    This is the early stages of investigation in to borders, the result of which will be a book. I’d welcome any feedback on the subject.

    Printed on to 130gsm Zerkall Rosa in a small edition of 6 prints per module. The prints are available from: