"He Wears Black and Has a Beard"

Type: Getting Ready for the Press

Toby Roworth

Jan 13, 2014

Nearly a year ago I made a fairly impulsive purchase of a case of movable type. The plan was to build a press, but that took a little longer than I planned - about 10 months.

In the summer I bought a few more bits to give me everything I needed except the press. The first was a nice lot on eBay containing leading, loads of spaces, some quoins and a set of Univers 55, giving a grand total of four fonts to print from (note that's fonts in the traditional sense - a single typeface, in a single style, at a single size):

I also picked up some Van Somme rubber-based inks. These are claimed to "stay open" on the press for a long time, and they mean it - some months-old ink I mixed is still good for printing. I chose five colours: I'll probably forever kick myself for not buying green. I also picked up a very old copy of the Pantone formula guide from my late Grandad, which makes a lovely addition to my desk.