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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,

John

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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