To_Boldly_Go_by_Ben_Hughes[1 cropped 2]

Richard Lawrence

At the age of 12 I learned to run a Heidelberg platen

How long have you been printing?

1970 at school

Describe your first encounter with letterpress

Avoiding competitive sports at school. Letterpress turned out to be fascinating and much more useful than sport. At the age of 12 I learned to run a Heidelberg platen. Beautiful machine ...

Where did you learn?

At school in Cambridge, GB.

Who was your most influential teacher?

Harold Wiseman. He also taught me physics.

Do you prefer to work alone or with others?

With others, usually.

What do you most value in your friends?

Argumentativeness and intelligence. I obviously prefer them to share my views, but someone who changes what they think to fit in is unlikely to be a friend for a long time.

When do your best ideas occur to you?

Any time.

What tool do you use more often than any other?

Quoin key.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

Can't remember. I don't read as much as I should. A biography of Karl Marx and Moby Dick I think, both for print-related reasons.

If you could study with any printer throughout history, who would it be?

John Baskerville, someone who clearly didn't care what others thought of him.

If you have your own shop, what equipment do you own?

Heidelberg platen, Heidelberg cylinder, Vandercook, Albion handpress (x2), proof presses.

If you could change one thing about your shop, what would it be?

A bigger guillotine and a bit more space.

When and where are you the happiest?

Cold, sunny winter days in the worker_countryside or the seaside.

What is your greatest fear/worry?

Being boring.

What do you think is useful about what you make?

It works. It's legible and mostly doesn't distract from the content.

What’s your day job?

Printing. I print jobbing work (mostly for artists), teach (mostly literature students about printing), fix and move machines for people. I used to work in science publishing, but computers came to dominate, so I stopped.

Do you use any other techniques or media besides letterpress?

I have a Risograph (Japanese stencil duplicator). It's great for very cheap printing and making designers think.