Posters are something that are really fun to print and give enormous satisfaction. Some of my posters are set in wooden type, and printed on my small flatbed press, that entails hand inking the letters. First there is the choice of the right letters, as not all the fonts I have are complete. However, it is the juxposition of letters and colours; plus than the hand inking of each letter or word, that gives the unique appearance of every print. Many of the wooden letters, some of them very old, are slightly damaged and will not print perfectly, but produce a result that is more art than print. (I have done a number for the annual Nairn Book & Arts Festivals)
But there are also prints that incorporate lead type and and some of my recent designs are for sale.
Letterpress Prints using Lead Type
I am also lucky to have a full set of 72pt decorative ‘Cloister Initials’, cast by American Type Founders (ATF), before the company was liquidated in the 1990s. These initials are the Holy Grail of type, and are now unobtainable. The matrix for these letters were cut very deep, so that the printed result, especially when 100% cotton paper is used, gives an embossed and 3-D tactile result. I combine these larger initials with other initial fonts that were cast by the Monotype Corporation.
This poster print was produced for an exhibition of letterpress printed posters, inspired by the Manicule, or Printer’s Fist. The exhibition was launched at Bath Spa University in September 2019 and highlighted the work of British letterpress printers who had to devise a design incorporating the ‘Manicule’. (The word derives from the Latin manicule, ‘little hand’)
The Manicule, or Printer’s Fist, dates back to medieval and renaissance times and is still doing the job of pointing the way and as a call for action.
Limited Edition Hand-Set Letterpress Prints
Using my ‘Cloister’ decorative initials, cast in lead by American Type Founders (ATF now long since gone) and sets of 36pt Monotype decorative initials, I have designed and printed limited editions of special prints that show the beauty of these initials, especially when printed by letterpress, on ‘mould made’ 100% cotton paper.
Due to the time involved in hand-setting and make-ready for each design, coupled to the individual printing process, I have only been able to do around twenty five of each design. Thus, they are all individual and limited prints; letterpress printed on my ‘Arab’ antique press, made in 1900.
The prints are either:
A: Print size 13.25” x 9.5” mounted on an A3 board: 11.75” x 16.5”
B: Print size 13.5” x 6.5” mounted on an A3 board: 11.75” x 16.5”
C: Print size 13.5” x 6.5” mounted on board size: 8.2” x 16.5”
D: Print size 14” x 4.5” mounted on third A3 board: 16.5” x 5.9”
The prints show the ‘mould made’ deckled edge on at least one edge, and some of them show the ‘Somerset’ watermark of the St Cuthberts Mill in Wells, where this special cotton paper is made.
Scottish Themes include:
MY HEART’S IN THE HIGHLANDS (A)
SCOTLAND – with printer’s fist (D)
SCOTLAND THE BRAVE (D)
FLOWER OF SCOTLAND (D)
OVER THE SEA TO SKYE (D)
SPEED BONNIE BOAT LIKE A BIRD ON THE WING (D)
WE LOVE TO BE IN NAIRN (D)
WE LOVE TO BE IN MORAY (D)
THERE IS A TIDE IN THE AFFAIRES OF MEN (B and C)
ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE (B and C)
The backing boards are either green, dark blue, red or purple, and further backed onto a 900gsm rigid board ready for framing
Prices INCLUDING UK Delivery
Size A: £35.00
Size B: £30.00
Size C: £25.00
Size D: £20.00
If you would like one of these prints please get in touch and I can let you know what prints remain and what colours of mounting board is available.
This well known quote from Robert Burns is a sumptuous print that will appeal to anyone who has a love of the Highlands of Scotland