Introduction

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Studio B is a printing laboratory established in 2004, founded by Carl Middleton. It aims to celebrate and maintain the heritage of letterpress printing through its use. The output in print embraces modern technology whilst anchoring it to the disciplines and heritage of typography and graphic design. The contents of the workshop have been gathered together over three decades and culminate in one of the largest collections of antique wooden type in Somerset.

We are part of a wider fraternity of printers who value the process enough to privately invest in it and to promote its qualities wherever possible. A process where we all hope to protect and conserve a key component in the evolution of media and communication.

At Studio B we compose, set, ink and print with movable type – making modern graphic treatments using traditional printing processes on contemporary substrates.

Our work is held in both public and private collections across the globe and currently is on display in Ireland – National Print Museum (Dublin), in the United States at Hamilton Type Museum (Wisconsin) and in the permanent collection in London at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Work carried out in the laboratory ranges from traditional letterpress printing, experimental typo/graphic work and fine art editioning.

Our print collection has grown (and continues to grow) from an initial interest in letterpress and a small collection of wood type gathered whilst living in central London and has now amassed to a huge collection (including some rather large printing presses). In its time it has moved from a number of houses in London to north Devon and finally residing in our latest residence in Somerset.

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After a recent invitation to Essex our collection has increased by another four cabinets of type (100 cases of metal type). After a rather long road trip it was collected and safely delivered without a letter being damaged. A huge thanks to John Spencer for gifting this to us. It includes some lovely large Perpetua (60 and 72 point), Bell, Times New Roman, Gill Extra Bold and many more.

We look forward to cataloguing this new acquisition and will publish prints here once completed.

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If you were wondering about the name of this website, it simply relates to the serial number of the largest printing press in the studio – a Soldan Proof Press 121:121. One of only three known presses of its kind still in use in the UK.

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For more details about the laboratory or if you are just interested in the history of letterpress and would like to arrange a visit please contact Studio B – by telephone 01823 401 302 or email carlmiddleton@neatdesign.org

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© Middleton – 2019

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