For the love of print.

I remember the feeling I got when I first saw printing presses running. I pored over proofs with expert repro guys, in awe of their experience and their ability to spot potential problems before they arose. I also remember the gnarled fingers of a man called Lenny Buck, one of the last of the old-school lead typesetters who used to teach typesetting to university students. When I was at college we’d pay the extra fee to spend an hour in the type studio with Lenny to learn to set type — but we didn’t — it was rock hard to do and none of us had the patience, but we all relished the opportunity to just hear a man like Lenny talk about putting ink on paper and all the lurid and hilarious tales that came with.

I wanted to re-kindle that love affair with print and find out if the passion and craft I remember was still alive.

It was one of my motivations for starting the Paniagua business as an opportunity to design prints and posters about something I loved (cycling) with no compromise on the production values. I had seen the work of Daniel Mather, so I called and asked if he was interested in printing an edition for me. He was.

The results of this work with Dan are wonderful. We receive beautifully and carefully wrapped packages, and I slowly open them with a scalpel, eager to see and smell the masterpieces within. Each a labour of love, each hand pulled with care and attention, and each inspected by the eye of a true expert. There is no anxious ‘I hope they’re ok…’ feeling, just awe at quite how amazing they are.

So, I still love print, and my faith in the printers’ craft is restored. Great printers don’t have to be old and with decades of experience, they just need to love what they do and be doing what they love.

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