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Traditional Print Masterclass returns to The Print Show

Traditional Print Masterclass returns to The Print Show

The Print Show, which will take place in Hall 9 at Birmingham’s NEC on 9th-12th September, will once again offer visitors the opportunity to take a trip through time and visit some of the glory days of the industry at the Traditional Print Masterclass.

One of the most popular show features since the event debuted in 2015, this area is entirely dedicated to traditional printing techniques that have helped to shape the modern industry.

Experts with various backgrounds in print will be on hand to explain how the kit on display works and help attendees produce their own work to take home with them.

Chris Davies, Event Director for The Print Show, said: “While much of the focus at the show will, as always, be on the many new product launches that will be taking place across the show floor, the Traditional Print Masterclass will once again be a major highlight for visitors.

“The Print Show is the only industry event to offer such a fantastic experience that enables people both inside and outside of the print sector to have a go at creating print the old-fashioned way. For some, it will surely bring back great memories of when they first started out in the industry, while for others, it will be a brand new experience that they will remember for a long time.”

Among the companies featuring at the Masterclass will be Signature Bindings, run by Glenn Malkin. A traditional hand bookbinder, Glenn works for customers both in the UK and overseas to repair books and Bibles, as well as creating new bindings.

Using entirely traditional methods and tools Signature Bindings has attracted a wide range of projects and special commissions from collectors and bibliophiles, as well as completing work commissioned by individuals and organisations.

Looking ahead to The Print Show, Glenn said: “At the Traditional Masterclass this year, I will be demonstrating some of the traditional techniques, tools and materials I use.

“Visitors can also have a go at making a fun folding mini-book to take away. This small pocket book uses no glue, thread or staples and is a great little project to get the kids to do at home.

“There’ll also be a display of some of my design bindings, as well as books made at some of my workshops and courses.”

Also appearing at the Masterclass will be the Letterpress Collective, which was set up five years ago to protect and use letterpress machines and type in Bristol, as well as educating people about this much-loved process. The company also collaborates with artists to print material.

Nick Hand of the Letterpress Collective said: “We’re currently producing a set of themed playing cards in collaboration with the singer-songwriter Jeb Loy Nichols. The theme is country soul singers and we are looking forward to launching them at The Print Show.

“We are also aiming to print some packaging for the cards at the show and visitors will be invited to print the packaging for their own cards.

“The Masterclass will feature some of the most respected letterpress printers still working in the UK, and the work on display will feature traditional print and also detail how it is being used in a contemporary way.

“The Print Show itself is always buzzing and offers surprises around every corner. It is also the only place where 600-year-old print technology stands shoulder-to-shoulder with cutting-edge digital machinery.”

Elsewhere, the St. Bride Foundation will be providing visitors with the opportunity to see kit from the middle of the 19th Century and techniques used in Fleet Street until as late as the 1990s.

Michael Clayton of the St. Bride Foundation, who before he joined St Bride in 2011, completed a six-year apprenticeship as a letterpress compositor in 1970 and spent his career working all over London, including nine years on Fleet Street, reports that he is looking forward to the event. He said: “The Print Show demonstrates how the history of printing has evolved via the Traditional Print Masterclass area, through to the modern digital age and is thus a show that is relevant to all sectors of the print industry.”

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