The Smallprint Company
Artisan Print – Printing the Old Fashioned Way
Located – Friary Villas, 2-3 Friary Street, Derby, DE1 1JF
Contact – 07948 266652 / 07806 782109
Web site – http://www.smallprintcompany.co.uk/
Hannah and Chris Barker are the owners of this charming and rare letterpress and design business in Derby. Born from the love of typography using traditional letterpress methods, they both spend their days together working in the studio, creating beautiful pieces of art using ink and letters made from blocks of metal. It’s amazing to think how far technology has come when you see your favourite font, each metal block letter laid out in a large wooden case waiting to be loaded onto the pressing machine. All we have to do now is press one of those letters on a keyboard and watch it appear on a screen.
Chris and Hannah working together making some business cards for the Derby Makers Project. A nice surprise.
Proofing Press process
A few shots taken of Chris making a print on a Cropper Charlton press.
Letterpress print has become a rare thing of late, but Hannah and Chris are totally fascinated with it. Chris is always on the look out for new fonts and equipment to buy, waiting for them to appear on eBay from the deep depths of grandpa’s rotting shed somewhere in the world. He currently stocks around 200 fonts at different sizes and weights, some iconic from the likes of Gill Sans, Bodoni, and Univers. I feel honored to have had the chance to see these in person, being some of my favourite fonts. Like vinyl I’m sure it will begin to make a comeback.
Explaining the ins and outs of letterpress.
The studio holds workshops for anyone wanting to give letterpress print a go themselves and are also available for commissions for anyone wanting to turn an idea they have into a truly unique work of art. Let Chris tell you everything he knows because he loves it! He is loaded will knowledge about the history of typography. You will walk away fascinated.
Inside the studio
samples of work
During the visit Hannah and Chris showed me some samples of work they had created for previous customers. They even made us some business cards for Derby Makers Project using their Adana eight-five press.
Photography © Daniel Dytrych