Hot Bed Press
Hot Bed Press Printmakers' Studio | The Casket Works, Cow Lane, Salford. M5 4NB | Tel: 0161 743 3111 | Email:
  • The Complete Letterpress Printer 2018

Spend a year immersed in the wonderful world of letterpress. This course will teach you the art and craft of letterpress printing, using both wood type and metal type, and a range of presses, from table-top Adana presses to traditional Albion & Columbian iron hand-presses. Learn age-old practices, perfected over five hundred years, and combine those skills with contemporary and experimental techniques to produce stunning, tactile and original prints, postcards, cards, chapbooks, artists’ books and lots more besides.

Discover the language of letterpress: how to mind your p’s and q’s, how not to get the wrong end of the stick or become out of sorts; experiment with borders and rules, muttons and nuts, fists and flowers. Learn simple measuring systems, and how to use a variety of tools and equipment. Delight in different typefaces, plain and fancy; from Garamond to Gill to Grotesque, Albertus to Windsor.

The course is designed for beginners, or those with only a little experience, and will cover all aspects of both setting and printing type. You will also get the opportunity to create your own polymer blocks and combine text and image. You will be supported in developing your own unique letterpress projects throughout the course in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.

About The Tutor:
Elizabeth Willow has taught Letterpress courses at Hot Bed Press since 2012 and is a successful book artist who exhibits nationally and internationally and runs projects across the region. Her work is held in numerous collections, including the centre for Fine Print Research and Tate Britain. There will also be guest tutors and speakers brought in across the course to focus on elements of graphics, poster and packaging design, and typography.

This year the course will run on Thursday mornings between 10.30am and 1.30pm with an additional 4 hours access to the workshop throughout the week. You can stay for the whole afternoon and set type to your heart’s content or you can use your open access hours throughout the week, [Open hours are Mondays to Fridays 10am – 5pm plus Thursday evening to 9.00pm and the last Saturday of every month 10am – 5.00pm.], or in a block over the holidays.

The cost is £1,200 for the year
Students are required to sign up for the full year. The first payment of £300 secures the place on the course, with further instalments of £100 from February to October, payable by standing order. Basic materials are included in the fee. Students can top up their materials/pay for extra materials throughout the course.

Term 1
Getting to know typesetting, all the way through to 2 and 3 colour printing and making your own chapbook.

Term 2
Introducing wooden type, image and text, book arts project and experimental letterpress.

Thursday Mornings

Term 1 Thursdays 10.30am – 1.30pm

Week 1 1st February Introduction to letterpress printing, and different presses
Week 2 8th February Beginning to set and print metal type
——— 15th & 22nd February (2 weeks off for school half-term; Hot Bed Press open)
Week 3 1st March Setting, locking up, and printing on the Adana press
Week 4 8th March Using ornaments
Week 5 15th March Two & three colour printing
Week 6 22nd March Two & three colour printing
——— 29th March, (Easter break – 3 weeks holiday; Hot Bed Press open
5th & 12th April apart from Good Friday and Easter Monday)
Week 7 19th April Using metallic & thermographic inks
Week 8 26th April Rules and borders
Week 9 3rd May Printing images
——— 10th May (May bank holiday; Hot Bed Press open Tuesday-Friday)
Week 10 17th May Working with varying point sizes
Week 11 24th May Tutorials, continued practice, setting personal projects
——— 31st May (May bank holiday; Hot Bed Press open Tuesday-Friday)
Week 12 7th June Design, layout and typography
Week 13 14th June Design, layout and typography
Week 14 21st June Chapbook project; a group pamphlet with text and image
Week 15 28th June Chapbook project; continued setting and printing

Summer Break
Hot Bed Press is open through the summer and students are welcome to come and print. Hours remaining from the 4 hours a week access (60 hours a term) can be used over summer, up to the start of the second term. If you have used your 60 hours access you can top up for £3 per hour.

Term 2 Thursdays 10.30am – 1.30pm

Week 16 6th September Introduction to wood type and hand presses
Week 17 13th September Setting and printing wood type
Week 18 20th September Applying ink and building layers
Week 19 27th September Working with colour and texture
Week 20 4th October Book arts project
Week 21 11th October Book arts project
Week 22 18th October Tutorials, continued practice, continuing personal projects
——— 25th October (Week off for school half-term; Hot Bed Press open)
Week 23 1st November Using type as image
Week 24 8th November Using type as image
Week 25 15th November Experimental letterpress; pressure printing
Week 26 22nd November Experimental letterpress; bending the rules
Week 27 29th November Final projects
Week 28 6th December Final projects
Week 29 13th December Bringing it all together; the playbill
Week 30 20th December Presentation of work, future plans and celebration.

To book, or for more information, please contact us on 0161 743 3111 or at