A two pipe problem – letterpress prints
Stephen Kenny lends his trained eye to create a new approach to the antique art of letterpress printing.
Just like legendary Sherlock Holmes, non-smoker Stephen Kenny also needs 2 sometimes 3 pipes to create traditional letterpress prints. His studio is located in Walthamstow, East London, where everything is designed directly on the press with movable wood and metal type. No computers are used in the design process. Design by movable type is part design- matching a line of text to various wood fonts, and part compromise – setting the space he has. Also, printing with old worn out wood blocks, which are marked and scratched, makes each block and each print wholly unique. This simple technique makes the endless charm of letterpress. The “Two Pipe Problem” is not only a series of designed personalised prints, but also a trade medium, the tools of which are:
- Stephenson Blake Proofing Press. Built 1930s (bed size 13 x 18 inches) used for medium scale prints.
- Farley Proofing Press. Built 1940s (bed size 18 x 26 inches) used for large scale prints
- Adana 8 x 5 press. (bed size 8 x 5 inches) used for stationery, business cards & wedding invites.
Among the affordable prints are wooden vintage playing cards, book covers, greeting cards, quotations, lyrics from his favorite songs, baby birth date prints and simply notices revealing worldwide peace and love or problematic messages.
As a working graphic designer, Stephen lends his trained eye to create a new approach to the antique art of letterpress printing. Inspired by music, film and literature each of these hand rolled prints are slightly different. And true to his word no job is too small, he has created many fabulous designs for large and small companies and is always happy to do one-off prints for people. Most of Stephen Kenny’s posters are signed and limited edition prints.
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