Category Archives: excitement

Back to the Future

As London gets taken over by Olympic fever over the next two weeks, I’ll be embarking on my own adventure, but in my case, and adventure in print.

I’ve been lucky enough to land myself an internship at Hand & Eye Letterpress in East London, a mere stone’s throw away from the Olympic Park (which will make commuting in and out interesting!)

Considering the fact that I have spent the past 6 months emersed in the world of e-publishing, many will probably wonder just what I’m thinking, going to spend two weeks of my summer working for an old-fashioned press, but I can’t express how excited I am to spend two weeks at this amazing place.

Hand & Eye use only traditional letterpress machinery to create commissioned work and to publish books. I’ll be stepping away from the world of KDP, POD and epubs and into a world of hand setting, Monotype composition casters and formes. It’s exhilarating, and I simply can’t wait to get my hands dirty and learn how it’s all done. It’s a world I know virtually nothing about, but its a world which, since I first heard about it from Hand & Eye’s resident printer and typecaster Nick Gill, I’ve wanted to explore and experience. Nick did warn me, though, that once you start, there’s no turning back. It’s addictive, and by the end of my two weeks, I’ll be wanting a press of my own. I’m sure I will, and that’s not a bad thing. 

Despite the naysayers proclaiming the death of the printed word, by the sounds of things there’s plenty of  work coming Hand & Eye’s way. Phil Abel set the company up in 1985 and it has gone from strength to strength, producing beautiful work for designers, publishers, museums and galleries and many other clients of very high repute. Long may the traditions of printing continue, I say. Personally, I believe that the printed word will never die. It may shrink, change, adapt and develop, and we may not recognise it in years to come, but it will remain. After all, printing has been around for nearly 600 years. It’s very different today to what it was then, but I’ll put my money on the press being around for another 600…at least.  

As I’ll be working at Hand & Eye full time for two weeks, things will slow down on the blog and on Twitter. You could say that it’s my summer break, I suppose!

With Pegasus Falling and The Bridge out there for anyone who wants to read them, and me in desperate need of a break from the publicity treadmill, I’ll hopefully return in August refreshed, with tales to tell from the printing press and ready to plunge back into that digital world again. But I may still have ink under my fingernails when I do!

Enjoy the summer, and happy reading,