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Late letterpress

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The work of Desmond Jeffery

Edited by Sally Jeffery; contributors Paul Stiff, James Mosley, Robin Fior, Ian McLaren London: St Bride Library, 2009

Letterpress as a practical printing process faded away about forty years ago, but as a direct and elegant means of putting words on paper it remained vigorous until its end. The power of this uncomplicated route from original text to printed sheet caught the imagination of a young returning serviceman, Desmond Jeffery.

He began in 1950 with hand presses, a few cases of type, and an awareness of European modernist typography. In 1956 he set up a letterpress workshop in Marylebone Lane equipped with a Heidelberg platen and an extensive range of mainly European foundry types. He became the local printer to an energetic central London neighbourhood, and also a teacher of typographers and designers. He died in 1974. The catalogue includes an assessment by Paul Stiff of his place in twentieth century typography.

Softback, 28 x 15 cm, 48 pages, colour illustrations.

ISBN 978 0 9504161 6 8