John Coe

John Coe rookie

Pressing Matters

Plenty of upside-down and back to front

How long have you been printing?

I started printing in 2016, when I attended a year long ‘foundation’ style course at Spike Print Studio in Bristol, UK ( which covered all of the types of printing, linocut, screen print, etching etc. During this course we had a couple of days working with Nick and Ellen from The Letterpress Collective ( which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Describe your first encounter with letterpress

My first encounter in using letterpress would have been with Ellen and Nick from The Letterpress Collective as part of my course. There was a group of about 8-10 people and we all set a line of a poem – there was plenty of upside-down and back to front text on the first print, but we ended the session with a great keepsake of our joint efforts.

Where did you learn?

I had a basic introduction on the course as stated above, however printing some letterpress projects for Pressing Matters magazine put me in touch with Carl Middleton (Studio B) and Ben Beach (wrkshp33) who both taught me a lot and showed me how I could apply my graphic design knowledge to printing with real wood type and so on.

Do you prefer to work alone or with others?

I prefer working with others – I love seeing what comes from collaboration and the mixing of ideas and experimenting in that space.

What tool do you use more often than any other?

Unfortunately my iMac (for the magazine layout), but I'm working on that. I'd love to have a small proofing press (like the ones we used at LPW 2019) so I can experiment at home more. I have an Adana, but the type I have is very small and I am keen to do more expressive and larger pieces.

What’s your day job?

My day job is designer and publisher of the printmaking magazine Pressing Matters - we publish quarterly and share stories of peoples process and passion for all areas and techniques of printmaking.

Do you use any other techniques or media besides letterpress?

Yes, I have studied screen printing over the last couple of years and use this mostly to create prints and I am starting a relief printing course in Sept 2019 which I hope to mix with screen printing and Letterpress to create small publications and prints.