Maker Difference: pop-up letterpress studio

Maker Difference is one of the events we picked out in our London Design Festival highlights blogpost from last week so I decided to pop along to check it out yesterday afternoon…

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Maker Difference is one of the events we picked out in our London Design Festival highlights blogpost from last week so I decided to pop along to check it out yesterday afternoon.

The event, organised by Cockpit Arts And SORT (The Society of Revisionist Typographers) sees a shop premises just off Carnaby Street transformed into a pop-up letterpress studio in which visitors can print onto a small notebook which they can keep – thus seeing how a small printing press works. 

There are also two free letterpress workshops everyday (at noon and 4pm daily) this week. You can book a place online at (limited availability). 

And SORT are also displaying and selling a range of their cards, cotton tote bags and books that they have, of course, printed themselves.

Here are some photos of the space – and of my note-book printing experience:

Maker Difference runs to the end of this week at:

3 Lowndes Court
Newburgh Quarter
London W1F 7HD

11am-6pm, Tues & Wed, Fri& Sat
12pm-8pm, Thurs; 12pm-2pm, Sun

Full details at:


  • How fantastic is this..
    Why are we stuck in front of a mac all the time (and we are proud about it/ them to?).

  • Old school printing equipment is teh hott. As in, sizzlin’. I am filled with love for it. Love, I tell you.

  • Eva Wright

    Beautiful stuff! Takes me back to my days at St.Martins – Southampton Row, downstairs to the letterpress workshop with Nick. Happy days! PLEASE keep places like this going, may it never die out!

  • Great stuff Theo and co, and that’s an incredibly neat and clean treadle platen press. Unlike the filthy beast that sits in my shed… LEAD RULES!

  • CK

    They should come up to Manchester.

  • @CK

    I spoke to one of the guys today and he mentioned they were hoping to tour it. Keep an eye on the SORT website…

  • Alex Wiltshire

    I would love to have seen it, arrived on the last day however 1 hour before published closing of 20:00 and they had already closed ;-( Still there is always the St. Bride library letter press events who also have marvelous letter press facilities and I am told will soon start courses.

  • Lachlan

    Setting/ leading real type was one the best things i have done as a trained designer.

  • Bill Hemmings

    Comment Pic 6:
    Sorry, but that is not the way to hold a Composing Stick and set type . . . I was a compositor in my younger days, now a retired Graphic Artist/Designer/Illustrator.
    I would have been hung, drawn and quartered as an apprentice if I had tried to set type like that.

  • Wilhem

    The way the setting stick is held in pic 6 is incorrect, you don’t set type like that.
    The stick is upside down.

  • Fantastic to see wooden type again! I was a hot metal comp as an aprentice in St. Helens it was the best days working in my life I then spent 25yrs as a compositor before becoming a Sign maker/Large scale Graphics Company owner, great days! but the guy holding the setting stick has never been a compositor, never mind at least keeping great things alive! I would just love some of that Type.

  • Great Stuff, I love to see the use of Wooden Type. Its amazing to see what you can get out of an old Adana 8×5.

  • My eyes lit up and transformed into the size of dinner plates when I found this article. I wish I’d known! Anything Letterpress is simply sublime. It is my dream and it will happen.

  • Great to see letterpress being celebrated, used and adored – it is so sad to see it only within a museum cabinet. my letterpress equipment gathers no dust…