The Letterpress Collective

The Letterpress Collective is run by Nick Hand and Ellen Bills.

It is the printshop of The Department of Small Works which was created by Nick as a home for design, photography and print. Both reside in Centrespace, a cooperative of artists and craftspeople, in Bristol’s Old City.

Silently and without anyone noticing, the last commercial letterpress printer shut its doors in Bristol in 2012 after 600 years of continuous work in the city. Nick Hand saw a chance to learn from the last of the printers and compositors in the city, so that a new generation can understand and learn the thrill of working a small press and seeing your creation in ink on paper.

Since 2013, The Letterpress Collective has been gathering beautiful wood and lead type as well as collecting amazing printing presses including a Heidelberg Windmill Platen (winched out of the MShed store by dockside crane), a Stephenson Blake proofing press and a set of  Adana hand presses. Printer Ellen Bills runs the presses for the wide range of projects that pass through the printshop and also the regular workshops and courses.

Nick Hand: The Letterpress Printer from Storm & Shelter on Vimeo.

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