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

More Workshops, Crafty Fox and the London Design Festival

Crafty Fox, Events & Competitions, Interactive Events, London Design Festival, Workshops

Crafty Fox LDF Web Flyer_mod

Following on from my last post, we have Crafty Fox’s London Design Festival event coming up just a couple of weeks away. We’ll be there on the 27th of September from 11am to 5pm, but it’s running all weekend at Kachette in Shoreditch (347 Old St, EC1V 9LP). For more information and to see who else is trading, check out their main page here.


We’ve been introducing all manner of people to the world of letterpress this August and September with our workshop sessions, plus we’ve just had a little feature in the latest issue of Elle Decoration. As such, we’ve just listed a bunch more sessions in September and into October as well, so it’s not too late to sign up and have a go!

September / October Workshops:
24/09/15 – Thursday – Evening (6pm-9pm)
25/09/15 – Friday – Evening (6pm-9pm)
03/10/15 – Saturday – Morning (11am-2pm)
03/10/15 – Saturday – Afternoon (3pm-6pm)
15/10/15 – Thursday – Evening (6pm-9pm)
16/10/15 – Friday – Evening (6pm-9pm)
17/10/15 – Saturday – Morning (11am-2pm)
17/10/15 – Saturday – Afternoon (3pm-6pm)

Summer Workshops and Events

Crafty Fox, Events & Competitions, London Design Festival, Workshops

What better way to make the most of the British summer sun than indoors with an Adana, some type and some ink? We thought so too and so we’ve got a flurry of new workshop dates listed for August and September.

SORT Adana 85

As per usual; they’re in the evenings during the week and then a morning and afternoon session on Saturdays. So if you’ve ever fancied having a go at composing type, learning how to use an Adana 8×5 or just want to know more about printing in general then have a look here:

27/08/15 – Thursday – Evening (6pm-9pm)
28/08/15 – Friday – Evening (6pm-9pm)
02/09/15 – Wednesday – Evening (6pm-9pm)
03/09/15 – Thursday – Evening (6pm-9pm)
04/09/15 – Friday – Evening (6pm-9pm)
05/09/15 – Saturday – Morning (11am-2pm)
05/09/15 – Saturday – Afternoon (3pm-6pm)
10/09/15 – Thursday – Evening (6pm-9pm)
11/09/15 – Friday – Evening (6pm-9pm)
12/09/15 – Saturday – Morning (11am-2pm)
12/09/15 – Saturday – Afternoon (3pm-6pm)

In other news, we’re pleased to announce that we will be taking part in the next couple of Crafty Fox events; as part of the London Design Festival on the 27th of September and also at the Bussey Building in Peckham on the 10th of October. It was great to work with them as part of Manmade 2015 so we’ll be exhibiting with them again!

 Crafty Fox LDF Web FlyerCrafty Fox Autumn Markets 2015 web flyer

Manmade Craft Fair

Crafty Fox, Events & Competitions, Interactive Events, Workshops

Manmade_evite copy

We are pleased to announce that in just under 2 weeks we will be participating in Manmade; a new event to celebrate men who make stuff! Brought to you in conjunction with Etsy, Crafty Fox Market and Mr Wingate, we will be exhibiting our wares and also running letterpress demos and a walk-in, have-a-go workshop as we have done in the past, with one of our restored Adanas. There will be 50 other stalls, an art exhibition, talks, live art and numerous other workshops, including screen-printing with Mr Wingate and jewellery making with our chums I Am Acrylic.

It’ll be taking place at the Truman Brewery on Friday the 12th of June and Saturday the 13th of June, with late nights and entry is free!
SORT Open Studios Summer2015m
For more information, check out Crafty Fox, Etsy’s blog, or follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more updates.

The Old Truman Brewery,
London E1 6QL
Friday June 12th (12 noon – 9pm)
Saturday June 13th (11am – 8pm)


New Products and More Workshops

New Products, open studios, Stationery, Workshops

Well friends, Open Studios has been and gone and we spent a lovely sunny weekend introducing a great number of people to the wonders of letterpress and Cockpit Arts as a whole. For any of you who were there, you may have seen our new Wall Of Alphabetical Ephemera (its official name), in which we went through our collection of woodblock type and printed up a medley in a range of colours for all to peruse and purchase.

SORT W8 Open lo SORT Open Studios 0515 lo

We also took the opportunity to release a number of new designs and products. Firstly there are our Letterpress Coasters; each design was hand-cut as a printing block to prevent damage to our vintage woodblock and lead type, but they were still printed, by hand as well, in our presses. The oil based ink we use as standard is waterproof and we tested an early sample by submerging it in the sink for a couple of days! The wood itself is 3mm plywood in a natural colour.




Next up are three new card designs, perfect for celebrations, congratulations, commiserations or just salutations. Each of the designs was composed with lead type and brass picture blocks from our collection along with some more hand-cut decorative elements for the background.

TYPE_Very Exciting! lo TYPE_Exciting! detail2 lo

TYPE_Tipple detail 2 lo TYPE_Tipple lo

 TYPE_Bring Out The Cakes lo TYPE_Bring Out The Cakes detail lo

All these products are available on our Etsy store at the links below.

Letterpress Coasters – Pack of 4

Typeset – How Very Exciting! Greetings Card

Typeset – This Calls For A Tipple! Greetings Card

Typeset – Bring Out The Cakes! Greetings Card

Lastly, we’ve just listed some more workshops for the next couple of weeks. We’ll be aiming to run a number of sessions through the summer so keep checking back regularly or follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to be kept informed of any new dates.

19th of May Evening Session

30th of May Morning Session

30th of May Afternoon Session

New Year & New Workshops

Interactive Events, Workshops


Happy New Year all! If one of your resolutions was to try something new, learn a skill or just get your hands dirty, we’ve got a bunch of workshops listed over the next couple of weeks. There are evening sessions plus daytime and afternoon sessions on the Saturdays as well, but places are very limited. For more information about the workshops check our main site or follow the links below to our Eventbrite booking page.

8th of January – Evening 6pm to 9pm

9th of January – Evening 6pm to 9pm

10th of January – Daytime 11am to 2pm

10th of January – Afternoon 3pm to 6pm

15th of January – Evening 6pm to 9pm

16th of January – Evening 6pm to 9pm

17th of January – Daytime 11am to 2pm

17th of January – Afternoon 3pm to 6pm

The workshops will all be taking place at our Clerkenwell studio in Cockpit Arts:

Studio W8
Cockpit Yard
Northington Street


More Summer Workshop Sessions

Events & Competitions, Interactive Events, printing equipment, Work in Progress, Workshops

Following on from our initial workshop experiments, we’ve just listed a number of new sessions for August. We’re sticking with the small group size as it means that everyone gets to have a go and it’s not too crowded in our little studio. There are two evening sessions during the week and two daytime sessions on the Saturdays. If you are interested in taking part or are looking for more information, check out the previous blog posts, our main site or the external booking site for availability.

The dates and times for the new sessions are:

Thursday 21st of August: 6pm – 9pm

Friday 22nd of August: 6pm – 9pm

Saturday 23rd of August: 11am – 2pm

Saturday 23rd of August: 3pm – 6pm

Thursday 28th of August: 6pm – 9pm

Friday 29th of August: 6pm – 9pm

Saturday 30th of August: 11am – 2pm

Saturday 30th of August: 3pm – 6pm

In other news, we’re currently working on some new commission products with a client that we’ll hopefully be able to reveal soon, plus we’ve also recently acquired a thermographic machine. Tom’s been doing some tests with some metallic thermographic powders and the results are rather nice. Check out our Instagram feed for more insights into our printing experiments.

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Letterpress Workshop Sessions

Events & Competitions, Workshops


Some of you may have taken a flyer from our stand at Pick Me Up or our recent Open Studios, or spotted the new section on our main website, but we can now properly announce that we will be running our first series of workshops in just a couple of weeks!

Over the years we have done a number of live demonstrations and one-off interactive events with our letterpress equipment, but we’ve frequently received requests for actual sessions in our studio. So next month we are starting to run some small workshops on evenings and weekends.

These first sessions will function primarily as an introduction to letterpress; its history, the essential principles and the basic techniques. We will then explain and demonstrate the workings of an Adana hand press and then produce a small project with the group using the Adana presses themselves.

The workshops will only be for up to three people at a time, as that is the maximum we can reasonably work with in our studio, and aimed at the complete novice. So whether you’re a graphic designer who wants to get their hands dirty, or someone who has never done anything print-related before but is interested in learning about letterpress, we’re happy to accommodate you.

These will not be open access workshops in which you are free to work on your own projects, so if you are more experienced with letterpress printing then these session may be too basic for you. However, if these introductory sessions are popular then we may start running more advanced sessions in the future.

Initially these will be taking place in our London studio in Cockpit Arts Holborn but we may also start running them in our Bognor Regis workshop too.

If this all sounds very exciting, then there is some more information on our main site plus the link to our external booking site where the first sessions are now available. If you have any queries then please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

Workshop Session 1 – Thursday 17th of July, 6pm – 9pm

Workshop Session 2 – Friday 18th of July, 6pm – 9pm

Workshop Session 3 – Saturday 19th of July, 11am – 2pm

Workshop Session 4 – Saturday 19th of July, 3pm – 6pm


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 ,



A Big Thank You

Events & Competitions, London Design Festival

And a hearty handshake to everyone who came along to our Letterpress Workshop in Fortnum & Mason as part of the London Design Festival. It was a roaring success with vast crowds of people turning up to see the presses in action and have a go pulling prints, as well as plenty of unsuspecting shoppers drawn in by the sight and sound of a working Cropper Charlton Peerless. There were several days where we had queues of up to twenty people lining up to try their hand on the little Adana 8×5. Our trusty print counter showed that almost 1000 people made a personalised notebook over the week and no one lost their fingers either!

For those of you who couldn’t make it there are some photos of our set-up;

SORT at Fortnum & Mason_L_low SORT at Fortnum & Mason_G_low

SONY DSC SORT at Fortnum & Mason_B_low

SORT at Fortnum & Mason_C_low SORT at Fortnum & Mason_D_low

SORT at Fortnum & Mason_H_low SORT at Fortnum & Mason_J_low

SORT at Fortnum & Mason_F_low SORT at Fortnum & Mason_I_low






We are now firmly ensconced back in our normal, turps-scented, ink-stained studios, and so too is the Peerless. It’s rather strange to be away from printing for such a long stint but fear not; we are back in action and have a number of Thrilling Developments we are working on at the moment.