Letterpress Matters

For you in London, don’t miss the Letterpress Matters exhibition and workshops, 3-7 July 2007 at Camberwell College of Arts:

It is no coincidence that type was traditionally referred to as matter. In a time when the last generation of professionally-trained compositors are retiring, Letterpress Matters, as part of the Postgraduate Summer Show 2007 at Camberwell College of Arts, explores the inherent material nature of letterpress and celebrates its new possibilities in our ever more digitally-engaged contemporary culture.



The integrity of letterpress lies in its material and physical process. Therefore, involving the audience as much as I myself am involved in the hands-on printing process is crucial. So
come and join a guided tour of the letterpress workshop at our very own Camberwell College of Arts. With the rich history of the Camberwell Press and the technical expertise of Ian Primarolo, the letterpress workshop is now a rare and inimitable place.

Alan Kitching

Talk: Tuesday 13 February 2007 at 7pm; exhibition preview 5.30pm
Exhibition: Wednesday 14 February to Thursday 8 March 2007
Where: At the world’s foremost printing and graphic arts library, the St. Bride Library, in London.

Graphic designer, typographer, letterpress printmaker and teacher, Alan Kitching is internationally renowned for his expressive use of letterpress type, process and materials in creating typographic designs for publishing, advertising and his own limited edition prints and ‘Broadside’ publications.

Born in Darlington, County Durham in 1940, Alan left school aged 14 to become an apprentice compositor with a local printer. In 1961 he moved south to pursue a career in design. New directions were inspired by working as typography instructor under Anthony Froshaug in the Experimental Printing Workshop at the School of Art in Watford College of Technology.

Alan subsequently established his own design practice, taught at the Central School of Art, and was invited by Derek Birdsall to join the Omnific Design Partnership. He became visiting lecturer in typography at the Royal College of Art in 1988 and established his workshops there for students of all disciplines.

In 1989 Kitching decided to return to his letterpress roots and launched The Typography Workshop in Clerkenwell London with the first of his A1 ‘Broadside’ sheets – ‘an occasional publication devoted to the typographic arts’. As well as compositions for corporate identities, magazine and book covers and illustrations, Alan’s work has also featured on postage stamps, theatre posters, shop windows, billboards, signage and a 30 x 15ft typographic mural for the Guardian Newspaper’s London office.

Source: St. Bride Library
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