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Hand Printed Cover Page













Next year see the 190th anniversary of the company printing in Diss. To celebrate this anniversary we have printed a limited edition 2020 calendar which have been selling fast and only a few remain.

The calendar is A4 in size and printed letterpress throughout on recycled board. The cover board has been hand inked and hand printed on the companies original Columbian Eagle Press and the twelve monthly pages featured 57 print passes to complete the job. As the cover is hand printed and various colour merging has been applied to the months each calendar is a one off. The firms historic wooden and metal type has been used in the production of the calendars.

Calendars are £20.00 including VAT, envelope and carriage to UK addresses and can be ordered from info@cupissletterpress.co.uk

Watch out for future blogs on items produced during our 190th year.

Wishing all our customers and readers of this blog a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2020.

John and Richard at Cupiss Letterpress.


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2019 Letterpress Calendar

Cover 2019 Calendar

We are pleased to announce the completion of the limited edition Cupiss Letterpress 2019 Calendar. After much thought Richard and I decided to this year use a A4 format with dates in a grid leaving space for writing. The Calendar has the grid pattern Letterpress printed in Grey with 24pt Gill Sans hand composed date figures printed in black with Saturday and Sunday picked out in Red.

Each particular month header uses different wooden fonts dating back over 150 years and is printed in different colours and effects using our Heidelberg 10″ x 15″ Platen. Some months having two colours on the press at the same time to create a merging of colours meaning each Calendar printed is different from the previous or following print, in total there are 65 print passes on each calendar.

The material used is Cyclus Offset 100% Recycled 300gsm Board with a Greyboard backing and Red Antique Cover Paper printed in Silver. The calendars are finished with a notched wire binding with hangar and are available at £15.00 each including VAT plus p&p extra at cost only.

December 2019

February Merged Colour

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Cupiss Letterpress on Tour in Diss Norfolk

Cupiss Letterpress was invited to participate in a Print Action Day in February at Design Makers 21 in St. Nicholas Street, Diss. The event, linked with the Diss Corn Hall, was a great success with many artists demonstrating different methods of printing.

When the invitation arrived Richard and I thought long and hard how Cupiss Letterpress could demonstrate Letterpress printing at a different venue in town as most of our presses are permanent fixtures and could not be moved. We finally decided on the Farley Proofing Press which, whilst being moveable, gave the opportunity to print up to SRA4 (12″ x 8″ ). We decided upon using an alphabet made up of wooden poster type (over 150 years old) to print from and duly hand composed two examples which were locked up in chases (metal frames) to take with the press and various inks and miscellaneous materials to take to the venue the day before.

Arriving early on the day, the type was made ready and inked up when the event opened. The day passed in a blur as visitors were given the opportunity to choose an alphabet, choose a colour board from our pre-cut Colorplan 350gsm boards and choose a colour ink or combination of inks. The text was hand inked with a base colour and, if required, second and third colours were added to create a unique design. This was then hand printed to create a souvenir to take home, giving our visitors a “hands on experience” and chance to examine the tactile effect of letterpress printing.

The six hours whizzed by, with welcome refreshments provided by members of Design Makers 21 and local artist Steve Goddard from SGartdesign. We were soon packing everything up for the return to the printing works.

The idea of printing SRA4 size alphabets tied in with the larger SRA2 (18″ x 25″) alphabets we are creating on our large Columbian Printing Press which the company purchased in 1830. It is planned to hand set and hand print a range of prints using wooden poster type with different boards and different colour inks to give “new life” to these historic fonts. As all processes involved are by hand each print is a “one off”.

Printed Alphabet (small size) using Wooden Poster Type inked and printed by hand

We are able to take commissions on both sizes of alphabets which can be matched to clients choice of colours. Our range of alphabets will be gradually added to our shop along with other items taken from these unique letterpress printed alphabets.

Please feel free to e-mail for more information we will be pleased to discuss the possibilities.



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Happy New Year!

As 2016 draws to a close and 2017 begins it is time for a very long awaited blog from Cupiss Letterpress.

2016 was a busy year especially on the Letterpress side of our printing. The company produced the most amount of Letterpress  jobs since we invested in the, at the time, “new fangled” Offset Litho and later Digital Printing.

Richard and I were pleased to deal with many new clients from near and far, with  some jobs taking us into realms of Letterpress printing not used at Cupiss Letterpress before or at least since the 1900’s,  including unique styles of Business Cards through to Wedding  Stationery.

This year Richard designed and printed our limited edition calendars using our wooden and metal type  incorporating various tricks to create colour  gradients and toning to the text on the press. This limited edition Calendar has proved very popular with one going as far afield as the USA, there are now only a few Calendars left.

One client contacted us to create authentic printing  from the 1940’s era for the current TV programme “The Halycon Hotel” with Letterpress Printed and Hot Foiled Letterheads, Cards, Menus’s and Invitations. One particular job to match a shooting deadline requiried us to meet one of the team off the London Train at Diss Railway Station with the printing  for them to catch the next train back  to London.

We are currently working with the same client producing Letterpress  and Hot Foiled Jobs for a film now in production this has also involved hand glueing book clothes , die cutting and blind embossing.

Local designer Wes Duke spent some time with us creating a two colour design using Wooden and Metal type  which he then had scanned and his design Screen printed onto Cotton Bags for Thorns DIY shop in Norwich.

2017 has already started well with a number of Letterpress jobs already in the production pipeline.

We are already putting some thought to next years Calendar and this years Christmas Card, the 2016 card being individually hand inked to create a one off of each card., slow but fun to do.

Richard and I wish all our clients and readers of this blog a happy 2017.

All the best,


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Mystery in the Attic: we need a Sherlock-type!

Earlier this year, John and Richard uncovered some very old, dusty boxes in the attic at The Wilderness that turned out to be full of what appear to be headline letterpress fonts of the hand cut variety.

We have no idea how old these fonts are, although we have deduced that they may be from around the mid 1800s, which would tie in with Cupiss Letterpress’ move to The Wilderness… and may mean that the hand cut blocks are even older than that!

It would be amazing to find someone – a ‘Sherlock-type’ (see what I did there!) – that could help us identify the typefaces, or at least help us to understand exactly how old they might be. There are six or seven in all, so if this is your forte, please get in touch.

Meanwhile, we’re all very excited about the series of posters we’re creating on the Heidelberg 10 x 15 Press (1950).

The first, which we’re calling ‘Captain of my Destiny’, has been printed using the hand cut shadow font and is so named because the poster features the Nelson Mandela quote “I am the master of my fate and the captain of my destiny” Hand cut letterpress type

The posters will be available soon and we hope to raise funds for the fight against Ebola with the 1st of 100 prints, framed and mounted, going to auction – feels like a good, right thing to do!

Snippet view of printed limited edition poster

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Christmas is Coming

Richard and I have been busy searching our typecases and cupboards for unique type and blocks to create cards to add to our current range of letterpress hand crafted Christmas cards.

The newest arrival to the range is a Christmas Angel based around a block mounted linocut of an angel holding a candle. This linocut was discovered locked in a metal frame (chase) held in place by wooden wedges. The fact it was locked up with wooden wedges suggests it has been around a very long time and its general appearance suggests the same, the carving however is very precise and creates a wonderful image.

We decided to letterpress print the linocut on our usual heavy 400gsm board in a pale blue ink with moderate inking and impression, a) to show the texture and b) to not damage the surface of the linocut. A semi circular shaped Christmas greeting block is letterpress printed around the linocut in silver/grey with handset gill sans type used for the greeting inside and the card title and imprint on the back page printed in black.

The card is featured with others from our Christmas range within the website, including our new ‘Missing S’ card, (see if you can see why it’s called the ‘Missing S’ card). Continue reading

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We will once again be taking part in the Norfolk Heritage Open Days Event. On Thursday 11th September through to Saturday 13th September, 2014. Places can be booked at www.heritagecity.org/hods.

On arrival visitors will be given a talk on the history of the company using a static display of old photographs, printing from our past, hand written letter books and the history behind the veterinary medicines for horses which we still manufacture today.  Continue reading

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An experience with a difference!

If ever you’ve wondered what letterpress is all about, then a Cupiss Letterpress Experience Day is for you.

We invite you and your friends to visit Cupiss Letterpress to experience first-hand what it’s like to step back in time to use original blocks, type and printing presses from the company’s 184 year history.

The aim of the experience day is for you to have fun, get inky fingers, learn a little about traditional printing skills and ultimately achieve a printed product to take home at the end of the visit.

Previous visitors have produced their own wedding stationery, posters and brought in and printed their own linocuts. The possibilities are limitless – probably the hardest part of the whole experience is deciding what to do. Continue reading

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The wedding that had everything

Way back in November 2013 we were approached by a client who had her own unique ideas on her wedding stationery for her Easter 2014 Wedding, taking Cupiss Letterpress up avenues in print we had never been before.

The client discussed her designs with us from ‘Save the Date’ to ‘Printed Coasters’ for each guest, each facet of the stationery had to incorporate a specific shade of purple with a smattering of silver where required.

The invitations were created by using a combination of Offset Litho for the basic design with letterpress printed headlines which were then embossed, a silver heart was then hot foiled within the design and the job cut and creased by the use of a letterpress cutting form to create a folder. Three individual information cards descending in size were created to fit in a pocket within the folder, the whole job was finished off with metallic silver envelopes. Continue reading

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Little Ouse Headwaters Project Visit

We were approached by some members of the Little Ouse Headwaters Project connected with the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts based at the U.E.A. in Norwich. They enquired whether it would be possible for a group from the organisation to come down to the printing works one Saturday to produce letterpress printing for sale and display materials for use at their Open Days at various village halls around the vicinity of the Ouse headwaters.

John and Richard welcomed eleven people to “The Wilderness” early one sunny autumnal Saturday morning. Following a brief Health and Safety talk and a demonstration of Hand Compositing the visitors were allowed to search through our varied cases of metal and wooden type, make their choices and report back to John or Richard who would advise them on their task ahead, before starting preparation for their personal printing. Continue reading