Formed by Chris and Hannah Barker and a tabletop Adana 8×5 back in January 2013, and combining their love of print and typography with their commercial experience, they explore the world of traditional letterpress print using antique presses and original type.
In April 2014 they moved into the University of Derby’s Banks Mill Studios, an incubation hub for creative businesses, where they acquired a rare Squintani Model no.6 treadle press. It was here that The Smallprint Co was established, supported by the University of Derby team and an EU funded SME programme and they partnered with fellow print practitioners Green Door Printmaking Studio.
In August 2016 The Smallprint Co made the leap and leased an independent studio space close to the centre of Derby, and were able to expand their services to include letterpress and bookbinding workshops, gallery space, shop and creative workspace for practitioners to use.
The new studio allowed The Smallprint Co to further develop their offering with a programme of workshops designed to introduce beginners to the craft, support the development of creative projects or skills, and work with families, schools, community groups and letterpress fans alike.
Custodians of the craft, The Smallprint Co bring their own slant to the industry. With the sole intention of preserving the traditional and endangered craft of letterpress they provide a tailored experience for anyone looking for bespoke wedding and business stationery, working with local and regional organisations including Derby Museums, National Justice Museum in Nottingham, Bodleian Library in Oxford, Furthest From the Sea festival, Derby Book Festival, Assemble Maker Fair, what3words, People Express, Creative Gallery Melbourne, H&M, blogger Holly Tucker of Holly & Co., poet Jamie Thrasivoulou, bookbinder Matt Edwards and artist Kate Smith and many, many more including schools, colleges and universities, academics, design studios and creative practitioners.
The journey has been a thrilling one with the studio recently being featured in a BBC production of Bargain Hunt, as well as Railways: The Making of a Nation and Radio 4’s Front Row. The list of people they’ve met along the way is long and varied and without their support The Smallprint Company would not be where it is today.
To celebrate 10 years of The Smallprint Company, an open day is being held on Saturday 28 January, 12-5pm. All are welcome to see the studio and celebrate.
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