New Products, Summer Workshops & Open Studios

Blog, Events & Competitions, Interactive Events, New Products, open studios, Stationery, Workshops

A couple of weeks ago we welcomed the great and the good into our workshop as part of the annual Cockpit Arts Summer Open studios. We were running demonstrations on our, lovingly restored, treadle platen press; showing people the basics of how it works, the principles of letterpress and then letting the brave ones step up to the plate and have a go. We were printing greyboard beer mats with a composed design from our usual collection and we thought it’d be nice to break out the super bright fluorescent orange for the event. Fun and games all round and no lost fingers either! Plus it was a chance to show off our new range of wedding stationery and personalised stationery sets.

We also launched several new products over the weekend, namely our Pencil Notebook, which is a flip top style with a concealed pencil tucked away and graph paper inside, plus we also had two new card designs; Get Some Cider Inside Yer & The Big Beard Boys Brigade. There were our new generic Save The Date cards as well which can be used for anything from weddings to birthdays to picnics. Finally there were our two new limited edition prints; If It Is To Be and Even The Smallest Crank. Both were printed on our flatbed proofing press and were composed from our larger woodblock type.


Seeing as it’s (technically) Summer, it’s time to run some workshops again! We’ve just put up a list of 10 dates, all of them are evening sessions, as they proved the most popular in the past, but we’re running them two days a week, every week until August. For a full description of what they cover check out the workshops page. All the dates and links to the Eventbrite listings are below where you can purchase tickets.

Tuesday the 28th of June 6pm – 9pm

Wednesday the 29th of June 6pm – 9pm

Monday the 4th of July 6pm – 9pm

Wednesday the 6th of July 6pm – 9pm

Wednesday the 13th of July 6pm – 9pm

Thursday the 14th of July 6pm – 9pm

Wednesday the 20th of July 6pm – 9pm

Thursday the 21st of July 6pm – 9pm

Wednesday the 27th of July 6pm – 9pm

Thursday the 28th of July 6pm – 9pm

SORT Workshops Promo

New SORT Personalised Letterpress Stationery Sets

New Products

SORT Personal Stationery_Notelet Pack Detail_low

We are pleased to announce that we have now properly launched our Personalised Letterpress Stationery sets which we previewed at the last Open Studios at Christmas. Up until now, we have produced fully bespoke stationery for a number of businesses and individuals but we wanted to offer a more straightforward option to customers who may not want a fully bespoke service or the minimum quantities required for us to produce a design, but still would like to have their own personalised note paper or notelets.

SORT Personal Stationery_Paper LJ Rockwell Detail_low

So we have started off by creating six listings on our Etsy site; separating the options by three typefaces and two formats initially, plus there are two layouts and twelve colours to choose from as well.

To order, we’ve made it as simple as possible; just select from the various options, add in the name and address you’d like us to compose and you can pay for it securely through Paypal or any standard debit / credit card. We’ll then email you a digital proof to confirm the details. Once we’ve received confirmation, we’ll compose the type, print your stationery and send it out, wrapped in sturdy buff paper with a custom gift tag to match.

SORT Personal Stationery_Notelet Times LJ_low

SORT Personal Stationery_Paper Rockwell_low

SORT Personal Stationery_Notelet Univers RJ_low

SORT Personal Stationery_Paper RJ Times Detail_low

Ultimately we will be adding more designs, layouts and typefaces to the range but we’re starting off with these. If you are looking for something a bit more special; a different paper stock perhaps, some ornamentation, two colour printing, a different layout, different typeface, etc, then just send us an email and we’d be happy to discuss a bespoke job.

Links to the listings are below:

Personalised Letterpress Paper Stationery Set – Rockwell 12pt

PersonalisedLetterpress Paper Stationery Set – Times 12pt

Personalised Letterpress Paper Stationery Set – Univers 12pt


Personalised Letterpress Notelet Stationery Set – Rockwell 12pt

Personalised Letterpress Notelet Stationery Set – Times 12pt

Personalised Letterpress Notelet Stationery Set – Univers 12pt



Recent Commission for Pied à Terre

Commission Projects, Stationery

When we’re not working on our own products we also produce a lot of business and personal stationery. We recently finished a commission for Pied à Terre, in Charlotte Street, London. Designing and printing their new menu holders to match the redecorated restaurant interior, in a deep burgundy 300gsm card stock, with a debossed, bronze logo on the cover and die-cut tabs on the inside to hold the daily menu.

We then went on to produce matching business cards for the owner as well as the restaurant manager, in both 300gsm and 540gsm weight stocks, with metallic bronze printed logos and custom mixed burgundy ink for the details set in Caslon.

If you are interested in bespoke, business or personal stationery then just email us at: info@sortdesign, and we’re always happy to discuss commissioning.

Pied a Terre - Menu Cover_1b    Pied a Terre - Menu Cover_2b

Pied a Terre - Menu Cover_detailb


Pied a Terre - Business Cards 1b

Pied a Terre - Business Cards 2b

Pied a Terre - Business Cards Detailb

Pied a Terre - Business Cards Detail2b


SORT at Pick Me Up 2014

Events & Competitions, Pick Me Up 2014, Work in Progress


Ladies and gents; we are pleased to announce that we will be taking part in this year’s Pick Me Up festival in Somerset House from the 24th of April to the 5th of May. The festival itself is a celebration of graphic art and design and has a huge range of affordable art, interactive events, showcases, late nights and general shenanigans.
For our space we’ll be teaming up with illustrator and printmaker Catherine McGinniss. She has collaborated with us a number of times over the years and we felt this would be a great opportunity for us to join forces to further promote the wonders of print! In our space we’ll be offering a double-whammy of interactivity by giving the public the chance to print your own personalised ex libris bookplate and then have a go at binding your own notebook too.

SORT Teaser A SORT Teaser B
We’ll also be launching several new products at the event, plus Catherine’s full range of hand-made items will be available as well. We’ll be posting more information and pictures over the coming weeks but if you want to know more then just send us an email or check out the official Pick Me Up page.

Pick Me Up 2014

24 April – 5 May 2014
Open daily 10.00 – 18.00, late night Thursdays and Fridays until 22.00
Embankment Galleries, South Wing
Day tickets £10, concessions £8
Early Bird Festival Pass £14.00 (until 31 March), normal price £17.50

Pedal + Tread Commission

Commission Projects, Interviews & articles

We’ve just recently finished a commission for some friends of ours at Pedal + Tread. They’re a husband and wife team who have just started up as an independent, online retailer focusing on all manner of essentials and accessories for outdoor living.

They’re dedicated to working with makers and craftspeople from Scandinavia and the UK and they teamed up with us to help produce some original products to help launch their store.


The idea was to make a notebook set, similar in format to our own Alphabet notebooks and Idea Pads, but with a selection of typographic designs based on quintessential quotes about outdoor life, travel and cycling.

Aesthetically they were great fun to design as the simple, more modernist style was a real change from our ornamental work. We also tried to keep to a more subtle palette with natural colours that matched the Pedal + Tread logo.

Below are some shots of the notebooks in production and there will be a short interview with us going up on their site soon as well.







Valentine’s Day Event Now Open!

Commission Projects, Events & Competitions, Valentine's Day

Yes ladies and gents, we are set-up and ready to go for our Valentine’s Day event in Fortnum & Mason. The Adanas are oiled up, the type trays have been given a dusting down and the ink is fresh out of the tins!


So if you’re looking for a personal gift for the one you love, then come on up to our mini workshop. You can pick from four exclusive card designs and add any name, pick a colour and a typeface and then you can have a go at pulling the print yourself on one of our vintage letterpress printers.

Valentines_Bees_Knees_sml   Valentines_Be_Mine_sml

Valentines_Apple_Blue_sml   Valentines_Apple_Pink_sml

We’ll be on the third floor of Fortnum & Mason all this week until Friday the 14th itself. As mentioned in our previous blog post, the cards are also available online (along with the personalisation service) for anyone who can’t make it down.

Saturday 8th of February – Friday 14th of February

Everyday from 11am – 7pm

(except for Sunday 9th, 12pm – 6pm)

Fortnum & Mason

Third Floor Stationery Department,

181 Piccadilly ,



Personalised Valentine’s Cards at Fortnum & Mason

Commission Projects, Events & Competitions, Valentine's Day

Kicking off 2014 with a start we are pleased to announce one of the mysterious projects I hinted at in my last post; this Valentine’s day we will be teaming up with Fortnum & Mason once again to do a live in-store event!

SORT at Fortnum & Mason_C_low

For one week from the 8th of February through to the 14th , we will be setting-up in their stationery department on the 3rd floor and offering a service for customers to personalise and hand print their own Valentine’s cards.

The cards are part of a bespoke range of designs that we’ve created and are exclusive to Fortnum & Mason. Customers will be able to select any of the designs, compose the name of their nearest and dearest and have a go at printing it themselves.

F&M SORT Card_You're the apple (pink)SML F&M SORT Card_You're the apple (blue)SML

F&M SORT Card_Be MineSML F&M SORT Card_Bees KneesSML

We will be there on the times and dates below;

Saturday the 8th of February through to Friday the 14th of February

Every day from 11am – 7pm (except Sunday the 9th: 12pm – 6pm)

For anyone who can’t make it down to Piccadilly during that period, the cards and the personalisation service, is available via the Fortnum & Mason website as well.

Personalised Apple of My Eye Valentine Card, Pink

Personalised Apple of My Eye Valentine Card Blue

Personalised Be Mine Valentine Card

Personalised Bees Knees Valentine Card

Personalised Hearts Valentine Card

For further enquires please contact us directly at

Fortnum & Mason

Third Floor Stationery Department,

181 Piccadilly ,



SORT Letterpress Workshop – Now Open!

Commission Projects, Events & Competitions, London Design Festival

The set-up is done, the printing press is in place and we are ready to go on our London Design Festival event at Fortnum & Mason. We’re actually starting a couple of days early and will be present in-store from the 12th of September all the way through to the 22nd. We are located on the 1st floor of the store by the main staircase.

We’ve finished up all the work on the bespoke range of commissioned products for Fortnum & Mason; they will all be on display in our workshop area and available to purchase, also from the 12th of September onwards. We’ve just had time to take some quick product shots of the range that you can see below.

F&M A5 Notebook Set_low

F&M A5 Notebook Set Detail A_low

F&M Cards_Time for Tea Purple_Detail_lowF&M Cards_Tea Breaks_lowF&M Cards_Honey Bee_Detail_lowF&M Cards_Mad for Tea_lowF&M Cards_Time for Tea Grey_Detail_lowF&M Cards_Busy as a Bee_low

We will be printing some more of the actual bespoke products, in-store on our antique Peerless printing press, so you can see exactly how we manufacture all our stationery items. Additionally, if you’re itching to have a go then we’ll be running a small workshop area where anyone can come up and personalise and print your own notebook to take home on the day.

We’ll be there everyday from 11am – 7pm, so if you like printing, stationery, tea, bees or all of the above, come along to Piccadilly and say hello!

SORT Letterpress Workshop

Thursday 12th of September -Sunday 22nd of September

Every day from 11am – 7pm

First Floor Stationery Department,

Fortnum & Mason,

181 Piccadilly ,



Further Ripping Yarns

Commission Projects

Following on from our last post with the Certificates for Guerilla Books, we’ve just finished the other projects as well. The book inserts below were produced as a way for them to avoid having to have any blurb or promotional material on the limited editions themselves. We designed the inserts with the publisher’s information on the front while there is an excerpt and author biography printed on the reverse. The first three were also coloured to match their respective editions in red, cyan and pink.



The last job was the humble flyer. A slightly different format from the ubiquitous postcard and done in two colour with a nice deboss, they should help to tie in with the look and feel of the handmade books they’re promoting.



All in all, it’s been a great project to work on and it’s always nice to produce a whole series of items right the way from design concept through to finished article.

New Commission Work

Commission Projects

Following on from our summer Open Studios (and a big thank you to everyone who visited our little corner of Clerkenwell), we’ve just completed a couple of nice commission jobs. We’ve always offered a mix of commission services as well as our own range of products and after an extended period of production printing it’s good to be able to switch over to something different.

Guerilla Books

This is part of a series of interesting projects for Guerilla Books; a fine, independent publisher of curious literature. Their beautiful limited edition books are all designed, printed and bound in the UK, and they contacted us to design and produce various items of ephemera as well. First up was a certificate for those who join their Collectors Club. Here are some shots of the printing process and intense close-up detail:




Bridie Hall

We worked with Bridie when she launched her initial range of handmade, scented candles and now that she’s launching a new scent and new range of sizes we printed up a fresh batch of labels to go with them too: