For the past two years Francis Cupiss has been invited to take part in the Norfolk Section of Heritage Open Days where historical buildings, premises or places of local interest voluntarily open their doors to visitors to see what goes on there during the rest of the year. We open the company to visitors one Friday and Saturday morning during a week in September.
Bookings are taken by the Heritage Open Day organisers in Norwich and visitors arrive and are welcomed by John and Richard who take them through to our poster room where a display has been set up with photographs and literature from our formation in 1830 until today. The display gives details of our founder, Francis Cupiss, MRCVS a vet who decided to buy a printing press to print literature for his range of Horse Medicines. Richard or John will give a talk relating to this time moving onto the present day.
Our visitors are given a demonstration on hand compositing using 24pt Gill type which is easier on the eye than 6pt. Various cases of our interesting historical typefaces are displayed including several from our range of wooden typefaces. Some of the unique terminology used in printing is explained and the reason the terminology exists, such as why an aluminium setting ‘stick’ is called a ‘stick’ , the difference between a ‘chase’ and a ‘forme’, ‘furniture’, ‘ems’ ‘ens’ and ‘quoins’ .
Then the fun starts, each visitor is given access to an apron and gloves and given a demonstration on running up ink on a slab, hand inking wooden type on our circa 1830 Columbian Eagle Press, paper positioning and the complete process of printing.
Visitors are then allowed to ‘have a go themselves’ much to their amusement. After much hilarity from friends and family each visitor ends up with a hand printed “welcome” sign to take home with them.
Whilst this is going on, our two Heidelberg 10” x 15” Platens, one from 1950 and the other from 1965, have been pre-set up one to letterpress some type and one to emboss a shape. The object being to show two of the processes involved to produce a christmas card. The presses are started and the principals of the functions of the various pumps and suction bars etc. are explain while the presses are put through their paces. Examples of cutting, creasing, numbering and debossing are shown and the processes required to achieve these results explained.
This process is repeated throughout the two days of the event and our visitors are given the opportunity to take away their prints, promotional telephone pads and buy any of the finished christmas cards and quotation boards.
The company believes that by taking part in the Heritage Open Days, opening their premises to the general public is not only good for public relations it brings to attention letterpress printing and its resurgence in popularity. For customers who require their printing with an unique feel that stands alone when compared with todays electronic produced media.
We are already thinking about September 2014 HOD’s visit.
Francis Cupiss Limited
Traditional Printers with Traditional Values