Letterpress printing, invented in the 15th century, sparked a revolution in the distribution of the printed word and thereby the rapid growth of literacy among common people. Try your hand at this most important of artforms on the largest letterpress printing press of its kind in the world.

Using our wide range of traditional wooden letters – some collected and some donated to the People Powered Press – and the giant steel letters of our own typeface, Graft, you’ll design and set your words in the bed of the press, ink them up, and use them to make and perfect your giant print which you can take away.

Learn all the skills and terminology of letterpress printing, and enjoy the unique thrill of peeling back the paper to see the prints that you’ve created yourself.

What to expect

You’ll work in a team of five, including Oli, for three hours. Couples can attend to make one print together, or to make a matching pair; two tickets would be needed.

Each of you will make a print of your own design, and help the others set and print their own designs too.

Working on the People Powered Press can’t be rushed – it’s a leisurely, creative process that brings  people together, always provoking really interesting conversation while you’re making your print.

You’ll set the individual letters – weighing in at around 2kg each – in the bed of the press and learn how to space them and lock them in place, then ink them up and use them to create your giant print.

You’ll also get to hear the whole strange tale behind the creation of the People Powered Press – designed to amplify local voices and spread words worth spreading as part of Split’s 2018 project, These Northern Types – and its accidental world record.

What to bring with you

  • Clothes that you wouldn’t mind getting a little bit dirty, though we'll provide you with a fetching apron.
  • If you have long hair, please bring something you can use to tie it back, and don’t wear anything too flowy, especially baggy sleeves, to avoid getting trapped in the press’s roller or dangling in the ink.

Price includes refreshments and a free, limited edition visual booklet telling the story of the People Powered Press and the creation of Graft.

All proceeds from this workshop will be used to support the People Powered Press' work with community groups around the Bradford district, amplifying local voices and spreading words worth spreading.