Random Spectacular’s new magazine showcases international letterpress

Textile design company St. Jude’s has teamed up with Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft for its latest Random Spectacular project – a printed showcase of analogue type. The 100-page magazine contains features on Alan Kitching and Tipoteca Italiana alongside some lovely letterpress prints from around the world…

Random Spectacular is the publishing imprint of St. Jude’s, a Norwich and Scotland-based textile design company and print gallery founded by Simon and Angie Lewin.

Its first release was a large-format illustrated journal which raised over £6,000 for cancer support charity Maggie’s Centres. It has since published another journal, a box set of music and spoken word recordings from the archives of Trunk Records and Concrete Antenna, a vinyl recording of a sound installation at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

The latest Random Spectacular was produced in collaboration with the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft to celebrate The Village of Type, a month-long programme of events commemorating the centenary of Edward Johnston’s typeface for the London Underground.

An interview with Alan Kitching from Random Spectacular No. 5. Lead image (top): letterpress print by Laura Bentley
Photos from the Occasional Print Club’s trip to Tipoteca Italiana in Random Spectacular No.5

The magazine features articles on the history of Ditchling’s St Dominic’s Press, the joy of printing with machines, a trip to Tipoteca Italiana in Italy and an interview with letterpress master Alan Kitching. It also showcases over 40 letterpress posters from around the world.

Posters are featured in Interrobang, an exhibition launched as part of The Village of Type. Designs hail from Europe, the US, Australia, South America and Canada and include colourful geometric prints as well as typographic designs in a range of lettering styles.

Tilley Printing
House by Dynamo Works, Edinburgh, showcased in Random Spectacular No.5 and Interrobang

Selected by a panel of designers including Anthony Burrill and Catherine Dixon, prints are on show in the former studios of painter Sir Frank Brangwyn, which forms part of Ditchling’s Open House Trail. (The studio is open on weekends and bank holidays).

The issue also showcases the work of Tilley Printing, Adams of Rye and Thomas Mayo, who printed the magazine’s cover. Copies cost £15 and all proceeds will be donated to Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft – you can order it online here.

From Conviction & With Passion by One Strong Arm, Dublin, featured in Interrobang and Random Spectacular No.5
Alphabetical Rules by Claudio Rocha, Treviso, Italy
Cartaz Dia Tipo, by Oficina Tipográfica São Paulo, Brazil
Speak Now of Professor Knopphauser, by Justin Knopp, Coggeshall, UK
Train Type, Laura Bentley, Seattle, US
A23D specimen poster:2 by New North Press (type design by A2-Type)

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