Thursday, 2 May 2013

Beautiful Printing Presses!

As a designer specialising in printed surfaces, I am extremely interested in the process of print methods - especially if I have never used them before! One very traditional technique I have always wanted to try is letterpress printing. These companies are a few of my favourites who use the technique to create beautiful textures and detailed designs...   
So today I was very excited to visit the print room of one of the few remaining traditional printing houses in Yorkshire - Quacks printers. It has been running for an incredible 300 years, and still has the original printing equipment that the company used back in the early 18th century. 
I was kindly shown the print room by one of the lovely members of staff, and it was so beautiful to see I thought I'd share the photos I took!
The company has a range of different styles of press and one was hand operated, requiring rows of text to be arranged by hand into plates (like the one below) and then used to print each piece of paper individually.

This is an incredibly slow process and needs pure patience and dedication to see the prints through to completion. But, like many traditional crafts, this is what gives the final product its charm and character.


 Drawers and drawers of different fonts...   

These are larger rosewood printing blocks. Aren't they beautiful?   

The best part about seeing such beautiful old printing equipment is it inspires new ideas, and the tradition and history behind these presses makes me love them even more. I'm hooked! 
Visit the lovely folks at Quacks on Grape Lane in York or to find out more about them click here. 

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