Mr Smith’s Letterpress Workshop

Kelvyn Smith runs his own letterpress workshop in Kennington, South London. We visited it to find out more about his practice…

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In the second of our studio visit films (made in collaboration with Order), we spent some time at the South London studio of independent letterpress printer, Kelvyn Smith, as he prepared for the Reverting To Type letterpress exhibition taking place in London’s Standpoint Gallery in December…

  • Nice to see Kelvyn’s workshop and all those letter blocks, lovely work. I’m a photographer now but had great fun and inspiration while doing letterpress and screen printing as part of my studies at LCP with Kelvyn as my tutor back in 2000/2001.

  • A love of type and rules. What else do you need?

  • Excellent work, excellent philosophy. It was lovely to hear about the importance of taking your time, learning the rules and doing an apprenticeship. More of this please!

  • Ray


  • How refreshing to see someone sharing their love for letterpress in the UK. Thankyou CR and Mr Smith.

    Uncoated has recently created an identity for a client using the letterpress technique, including bespoke handcrafted garment swing tags. This was done on a small studio in Bath, however they have since moved, so would great to drop by what looks to be a very inspirational Kennington studio sometime.

  • Chuffed to see this, brought back some memories…maybe I’ll take a trip down there and check it out sometime.
    I was a hot metal comp at the end of the ’70s early ’80s and loved that job before it all changed.

  • Brilliant video. Thanks for this. There is a quality that only Letterpress can bring.

    Letterpress printing is now a niche printing process and they charge for it!

    But the results are droooool worthy!

  • Great piece – pleasure to see paper, ink, metal. Is “Smith’s Rules” published? What’s the textbook he’s flipping through?

  • Love letterpress

    have some of my own at home and use it at work

    I was inspired aftr my 1st letterpress lesson at LCP 2002!

  • I have had the good fortune of attending a weekend workshop with Kelvin Smith at his workshop – inspiring, educational and informative. The book was a research project he was doing at Middlesex (if i recall), very lovely book printed on newsprint which gave a perishable quality to a set of firm rules.

    I would recommend the course to anyone interested in letterpress, as a volunteer director running the open access print studio in Bishop’s Waltham ( it has pushed us to bring letterpress and Typographic design (I already teach Typography & Type Design in digital form) to a fine art studio in the south.

    The little cafe near the yard does amazing food too, if you do the course don’t take lunch buy it from there instead : )

  • i love letterpress

  • Gemma Phillips

    Kelvyn…. Thank you for the AMAZING workshop you held with us at Bucks New Uni. (I want this man’s brain)….. WOW !

  • Creativity as it should be!

  • I really love Letterpress