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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.