hump day

Letterpress Posters!

Inspired by that big V day (valentine's), I have designed and printed a limited edition of letterpress prints. It was just an excuse to get a bit creative, get my hands dirty and indulge myself in my woodtype collection. I tried to stay away from cheesy and keep them fun, light hearted and aesthetically pleasing, of course!

Have a look at the whole range below.. 5 of them are to available to purchase directly from the shop, some are not on there but they are the same price as the others- just get in touch if you want to buy one. Each are of a limited run- there are no more than 10 prints of each. 

Every single print is unique, with it's very own markings on it. This is because of the wonderful letterpress process- no 2 prints are ever the same... For example, look at the below image! 

If you want a bespoke print doing, with a specific quote that's special to you, just give me a shout!

Hump Day

I'm going to keep this one short and sweet but as promised (ok I might of missed a few), here is my hump day post!!

I thought I'd take a few pics throughout my day to show you the kind of stuff I get up to on a general bases, but as you can see it is very varied! Which is why I love what I do!

So I've been printing proof prints of Save the Date wedding coasters for a couple, which I must get off in the post! These letterpress coasters go down a storm and are such a great way of sending out something a little bit different.

It's also been quite a festive day as you can see! Totally getting in the spirit of things and printing a range of 4 different letterpress cards for one client- brief was to keep traditional, so red/ gold was the colour of choice and beautiful, classic imagery and type. Separate to that job, I started printing the inside of some christmas cards for the wonderful Graphic Design company, Jolly Good Design, Cheltenham. These have been designed in house by Laurel and so I've had the plates made and letterpress printing them in the burnt orange colour to match their branding! Can't wait till their done!! And I have also letterpressed my own christmas cards for Retro Press! 

All in a day's work and I've been in letterpress heaven I must say! If you're after anything personalised or have got something specific you want to be letterpressed/ designed- (maybe a letterpress print for a special person for christmas?!) don't hesitate to get in touch, I'd love to help!

Hump Day Hurray!

I think I skipped last week's 'Hump Day' post- apologies, it's been crazy busy!! So I thought I'd show what I was doing a week ago today instead of writing this...

In one of my previous posts, I did an informal interview with Tom from Cotswold Vintage Scoop, telling you all about the retro, amazing ice cream vans he has has for hire for wedding and other events. And now he is embarking upon doing workshops, in which you get to learn the craft of making these wonderful ice creams for yourself! These would be great for hen parties, birthday/ christmas presents or just for fun! Soooo, in order to keep the vibe vintage and retro, Tom asked me to design and print some letterpress vouchers and posters for this... Have a look at the below pictures which show some of the letterpress process.

This was my brief from Tom:

"The voucher needs to have my logo (Cotswold Vintage Scoop), scream fun, premium and retro/vintage."

This is my favourite kind of brief and right up my street. I had the freedom to do what I liked once I had all the copy for the artwork. I had a lot fun printing these although I did every colour separately, so the end product of 50 vouchers were hand pressed in total of 250 times individually!! And that's not including all the 'duff' ones either!! But I think they were worth it- take a look below.

So as you can see, it's not just wedding stationery that I do here, but anything and everything I can letterpress, I will; whether it be for business, fun or home. I've dug out some old bits and pieces that I've done in the past to demonstrate the wide range of work I do and love :) If you've got anything in mind, give us a bell!


Hump Day!

To go Letterpress or Digital?

For me, it's a no brainer... But I totally understand that you might have to stop and question it because naturally getting letterpress wedding invitations will be more expensive than getting digitally printed ones. So why bother? Well to help make your decision, I've come up with a few simple comparisons and I want you to answer which one you'd prefer reading/ listening to/ viewing/ receiving/ consuming/ doing:

  • Book or Kindle?
  • Vinyl or iPod?
  • Polaroid picture or instagram?
  • Postcard or email?
  • Homemade roast or microwave meal?
  • Theatre or TV?

Admittedly, the second option to all of these questions are undoubtably easier, more convenient and in today's world sometimes the only answer in certain circumstances. But if you had a choice, if you had the time, patience and budget, wouldn't you also go for that distinctive crackling sound of a vinyl record over the polished stereo version of Radio Gaga? Is it nostalgia that makes me want to choose to hold an actual polaroid picture of my grandad rocking a pair of speedo's in the 1940's rather than a 5 times filtered 'selfie' that's mostly viewed on a tiny screen? Ok so not only is the content way better in the vintage format, but the format itself is on another level too!

There is just something rather charming about getting a postcard through your letterbox- it's that extra thought that's gone into it- the choosing of the card itself, writing it, going through the bother to find the address, finding an old stamp in the bottom of your handbag, only to realise it's out of date, having to go to the post office in a foreign country and trying to communicate with someone who's now looking at you like your a total moron as you mouth out the word 's t a m p' in your best faux english accent as possible and then finally trying to find a damn postbox to try and send it, which doesn't actually get to your beloved until you've arrived back home 2 weeks later (by which time, they've probably of dumped you for being so rubbish at being in contact)! What a palarvia!! Ok, I take it back, I'm going to stick to emails! Ha, no but seriously, I believe that people genuinely appreciate and love the sentiment of this lovely object being hand delivered through their door.. It's the personal touches that really evoke meaning and feeling.

The letterpress stationery that I do here at Retro has exactly the same sentiments behind it- each individual invitation/ business card/ coaster or whatever it may be, is hand printed, hand crafted, made with love and hopefully the end product shows this. It is on a completely different level to digital prints- every single letterpress job will be slightly different, some may be a little (slightly) wonky and they will never be as 'perfect' as something that's been ran out of a machine, but it's these imperfections that I personally love. And I'm not going to lie, it would be a hell of a lot quicker, easier and cheaper to bang out something in Photoshop that 'has' that letterpress look', but this is all it will have... It won't have the feel, the texture and the quality to it as an actual letterpress product has. And this process is the more expensive route to take, not only because the end product is much much nicer (in my humble opinion), like a homemade pie, but because of the time taken, level and skill involved to produce such items.

So to conclude, lets go back to the questions... And I'd say, if you're veering towards the first options on most of them then you're on my team all the way- stick with me and get your letterpress stationery done with Retro! You're also more than welcome to pop by the studio and have do a little workshop if you fancy... But in the meantime, keep playing those vinyls that you pick up at a cheeky car boot and just keep me in mind!

Hump Day!

Well this is a term that I learnt whilst I was out in Nashville doing my internship at the famous Hatch Show Print. So I thought I'd make this a themed weekly post... Hump Day. God bless you Americans! These might be slightly random posts, maybe an account of my day here at the studio or indeed a post on elephants (my fave animal), totally relevant! But I thought that this would be a good way of making sure I remember to blog, keep up to date with stuff and just fun in general!

It'd only be right therefore, that this post be a brief summary on my time at Hatch Show Print- yes the best, oldest letterpress workshop in the world for sure.

It is here that I fell head over heels in love with the whole letterpress process. Even though I did a little letterpress on my Graphic Design degree course, I mostly learnt everything there at Hatch. It was an intense 3 month internship, 9- 5 every Monday- Friday and then we got given the privilege to print our own stuff on the weekends too!! Totally amazing!! Whilst I was there, there were posters being produced left right and centre and flying out the door for bands and artists such as the Goo Goo Dolls, Adele, Hall & Oats, Aretha Franklin, BB King, Bob Seger, TV on The Radio, to mention a few. I personally designed and printed jobs for the likes of Glen Campbell, Kenny G and Willie Nelson... How cool?! All of this stuff was letterpress printed, the good ole' fashioned way! The place itself (even though it has now moved locations- which I have visited) is just magical; there's just this buzz about it with a huge sense of authority and nostalgia to it.

Above are some pics of the place, some type and the team beavering away. Below are some pics of the posters produced whilst I was there....

As you can see, it is just an awesome place filled with letterpress goodness, in which I never wanted to leave. But I had to (insert violins). Soooo, upon my return to the UK, I decided that this is all I wanted to do; eat, sleep, breathe letterpress and try and emulate a similar vibe and success to that of Hatch Show Print. Thus, Retro Press was born! If you're interested, you can read a little more about Reto on the website.

So this is a little section of my letterpress studio, in the heart of the Cotswold's, a little different to Nashville... And yes it is a shrine to Hatch! But hey, it was the best experience of my life and has made a heavy impact on what I'm doing today so this makes me very happy every single day! 

Below is one final image... This one's for you Jenny!

This is an image of the first poster that myself and Jenny designed and printed together and had absolutely free reigns of, yey hah! A letterpress wedding invitation poster- what a great way of sending something out that's a bit different to the norm and so very striking too! To date, I still haven't had the pleasure of designing one of these for a couple, but I'd absolutely embrace it if I had the chance to... So if you know of anyone looking for a personalised wedding poster, don't hesitate to put them in touch!

Well, this post is definitely longer than I was intending it to be, but I find it easy to get carried away when talking about Hatch! But hey, thank you guys for everything and until next Hump Day.... :)