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Paying tribute to prints glorious past at The Print Show 2018


The Print Show will once again this year offer visitors the opportunity to take a trip through time and visit some of the glory days of years gone by in the industry at the Traditional Print Masterclass. One of the most popular show features since the event debuted in 2015, this area is entirely dedicated to traditional printing techniques that have helped to shape the modern industry.

Those in attendance can try their hand at some of these techniques and test out some of the technology on display. Experts from various backgrounds will be on hand to talk visitors through how the kit works and help attendees produce their own work to take home with them as a souvenir for their day at The Print Show.

Chris Davies, event director for The Print Show, said: “While much of the focus at The Print Show will, as always, be on the many new launches that will be taking place across the show floor, the Traditional Print Masterclass will once again be a major highlight for visitors.

“The Print Show is the only industry event to offer such a fantastic experience that allows people both inside and outside of the print sector to have a go at creating print the old-fashioned way. For some, it will surely bring back great memories of when they first started out in the industry, and for others, it will be a brand new experience that they will remember for a long time.”

Shoulder-to-shoulder with cutting edge technology

Among the featured companies at the Masterclass will be Signature Bindings, run by Glenn Malkin. A traditional hand bookbinder, Glenn works for customers both in the UK and overseas to repair books and Bibles, as well as create new bindings.

Using entirely traditional methods and tools Signature Bindings has attracted a wide range of projects and special commissions from collectors and bibliophiles as well as work from individuals and organisations.

Looking ahead to The Print Show, Glenn said: “At the Traditional Masterclass this year, I will be demonstrating some of the traditional techniques, tools and materials I use.
“Visitors can also have a go at making a fun folding mini-book to take away. This small pocket book uses no glue, thread or staples and is a great little project to get the kids to do at home.

“There’ll also be a display of some of my design bindings, as well as books made at some of my workshops and courses.” Also appearing at the Masterclass is the Letterpress Collective, which was set up five years ago to protect and use letterpress machines and type in Bristol, as well as educate people about this much-loved process. The Letterpress Collective also collaborates with artists to print material.

Nick Hand of the Letterpress Collective said: “We’re currently producing a set of themed playing cards with the singer songwriter Jeb Loy Nichols. The theme is country soul singers and we are looking forward to launching them at The Print Show.

“We are aiming to print some packaging at The Print Show for the cards. People will be able to print their own pack for a set of cards. “The Masterclass in particular has some of the most respected letterpress printers still working in the UK, and the work on show displays not just traditional print but also how it is being used in a contemporary way.

“The Print Show itself is always buzzing and has surprises around every corner. It is also the only place where 600-year-old print technology nestles shoulder-to-shoulder with cutting edge digital machinery.”

Elsewhere, the St. Bride Foundation will be giving visitors the chance to see kit from the middle of the 19th Century and techniques used in Fleet Street until as late as the 1990s.
Michael Clayton of the St. Bride Foundation say that he is looking forward to the event and seeing plenty of familiar faces in the hall. Clayton completed a six-year apprenticeship as a letterpress compositor in 1970 and spent his career working all over London, including nine years on Fleet Street.

Clayton, who joined St. Bride in 2011, says: “The Print Show demonstrates how the history of printing has evolved; from the Traditional Print Masterclass area, through to the modern digital age. The event is relevant to all ages.”

(Source: World of Print, August 14, 2018)

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