The Lettering Arts Trust: Alan Kitching Letterpress Workshop

Alan Kitching demonstrates his letterpress – designing, setting and printing expressive artworks, utilising type from his historic collection. In this hands-on workshop, participants learn how to set type, mix and layer ink, and use the letterpress to produce a printed work of art.

Booking necessary

Alan Kitching RDI AGI Hon FRCA is one of the world’s foremost practitioners of letterpress typographic design and printmaking. His artistry with letterpress has achieved worldwide renown. In this digital age, his skill as a compositor and printer has transformed letterpress into an artistic medium and a valued craft.

During this day-long workshop, Alan explains the principles of letterpress and some of the history of a medium that transformed communication for the masses. Participants gain an insight into the use of different letterforms and founts and the complexity of compositing; how to ink blocks for passing through the press; and how to achieve different colour effects via numerous impressions. At the end of the day, participants take home a personally executed artwork.

Born in 1940 in Darlington, Co. Durham, Alan Kitching was an apprentice compositor (1956–1961) before meeting Anthony Froshaug and co-establishing the experimental printing workshop at Watford College of Technology, School of Art (1964). He worked with Froshaug until 1967, but continued to collaborate with him on student projects at the Central School of Art & Design. In 1973, Alan began his own design practice in London. In 1977, he partnered with Derek Birdsall at Omnific and started letterpress printing there in 1985. He then went on to establish The Typography Workshop in Clerkenwell (1989), and began teaching through letterpress at the Royal College of Art (1991–2006). From 1994, he worked in partnership with designer/writer Celia Stothard (later his wife). Sadly Celia passed away in December 2010 after a long and brave battle with cancer. Alan continues to exhibit and lecture across the globe, and is renowned for his expressive use of wood and metal letterforms in commissions and limited-edition prints.

Letter carvingLetter cuttingLetteringPrintingStone carving


6 October 2021, 10:30 - 16:30


19 Cleaver Street

SE11 4DP