LOST WORDS: Letterpress Workshop


We are extremely excited to announce that the Counter Press will start ‘Lost Words’, a series of printing workshops this April at the Type Archive. 

You might have come across these beautiful new prints fluttering in from East London. Well, that is where the Counter Press is bringing a fresh face to letterpress and creating extraordinary contemporary prints. It might appear easy at first sight because Elizabeth and David know exactly how to trick your eyes in letting you believe that this is the only way letters can possibly fall on the page. However, as there are many more skills to acquire, they are willing to share their knowledge and techniques with you in a two day workshop in our inspiring buildings. 

Since the Type Archive is home to the National Typefounding Collection and pretty much the whole Monotype typesetting and printing history, this environment will certainly inspire you to get your hands inky in our marvellous printing workshop. After letting you tour through some of our hidden treasures, the workshop will introduce you to the basics of wood and metal type setting and letterpress. You will use some of the Type Archive’s collection in order to produce your own limited edition poster that will be printed on the Vandercook precision proofing press.

So, if that gets you excited to get your hands on typesetting and letterpress, you should not miss this opportunity. No previous experience is required, just a curious mind about typography, language and letters. 

The course will run over two days on Friday and Saturday, the 29th and 30th April 2016 from 10-5pm. There are only six places available at £300 each, all materials will be supplied, and can be booked at here.

To see the beautiful prints from The Counter Press visit: www.thecounterpress.co.uk


Welcome to the new blog from The Type Archive, here to keep you updated with all our the latest news and events on our site. 

The Type Archive is located in Stockwell, London, where we house 8 million artefacts which tell the story of typesetting and printing. 

There are three major collections of artefacts at the Type Archive. Firstly, the Stephenson Blake Collection, consisting of thousands of steel letter punches, that were rescued from their dungeon (‘Tomb’) and are used for casting type from ’matrices’. Secondly, the Monotype Hot-metal division, which was purchased from the Monotype Corporation in 1992 and belongs to the Science Museum; this collection is an astonishing archive of letterpress machines and type fonts in over 300 written languages. Last but not least, Robert Delittle’s Woodletter factory (1888), a collection that was acquired by the Type Archive in 1996. Woodletter was used primarily for printing posters for the theatre, the countryside and for political events. 

The two major metal collections were purchased with grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. Here on 100 Hackford Road, they are cared for and are in daily use by our inspiring staff. If you want to get a sense of what letterpress printing was like pre the digital age, you are definitely in the right place! It is easy to take written documents, such as books, for granted these days, but there is an incredible amount of work behind them all and a great deal of knowledge and experience is required. Today there are only a handful of people left in this country who have the technical skills to carry out this particular form of craft. 

The Type Archive is not only an exciting place for anyone who is passionate about type and printing, but also for the general reader, writer, designer, scientist… We are happy to welcome curious people by appointment on our site, in order to expand their knowledge of the past and future of typesetting, in every walk of life. Our apprentice programme can also be discussed. 

We are currently working on hosting workshops and exhibitions into the near future. For further information and dates, please follow our social media sites. If you would like to find out more detailed information about our collections, staff and the site itself, please visit our main website: www.typearchive.org