Hi, I'm Jen, the letterpress printer and designer behind Inky Collective.
I am hoping to raise £5,000 to help me purchase the beautiful 1950s Vicobold Printing Press that I have been renting (and falling ever more in love with) since January, and that has now been put up for sale.
The funds would also help me move the half ton press into a new London studio, along with two Adana table-top presses, in order to run regular letterpress workshops!
I have been printing for less than two years now, though I jumped in at the deep end after receiving my Adana as a surprise for Christmas in 2013. By the following August I had set up my Etsy shop and given taster workshops at the launch of People of Print's magazine, Print Isn't Dead!
"Jen Wright, of Inky Collective, uses traditional methods of print in a fun, colourful and contemporary way. She attended our very first Print Isn’t Dead magazine launch with her Adana Press and got to work for the whole crowd to spectate or participate in live letterpress workshops. It went down a treat, and we are very excited to see what she does next."
- Marcroy Smith, Director & Founder of People of Print
As well as having taught a fair few children and adults to print their own postcards during taster workshops, I've also taught one-on-one on my Adana at home and have shown the printing process from start to finish on the Vicobold.
"When Jen invited me to watch my business cards being printed, she talked me through every step of the printing, including the all-important 'makeready' process. I even got to mix my own ink, and to print a few cards myself, under her expert gaze.
It was a brilliant day, full of laughs and completely fascinating. Jen is incredibly patient and went above and beyond to make sure the cards were printed exactly as I asked, and I came home with a pack of beautiful business cards, each one made with as much care as the other. Personal stationery doesn't get more personal than this."
- Patrick Miller, Illustrator, Customer, and Friend
With regard to my own line of printed products, being eco friendly is of the utmost importance to me. I use only recycled, FSC approved or cotton paper, and any plastic wrapping is biodegradable.
I use super bright colours, often printing with several different colours at once using the split fountain technique.
Everything is created with love, care and maybe the smallest hint of OCD.
About The Funds
As well as helping me to buy the Vicobold so I can continue my work as a printer, and to move the great beasty, the money will go towards setting up a studio ready for workshops.
I love teaching others about the letterpress process, and showing people how to create their very own unique keepsakes, so having my own space where I can do that regularly will be a dream come true!
I realise it's still early in my printing career, and that I'm still learning myself (I think I always will be!), and I hope the prices of my workshops reflect that fairly.
The studio would have two Adana 8x5s, and a maximum of two attendees at a time to allow plenty of individual attention and the time to print exactly what they want.
In order to run workshops successfully I will need a plethora of printing gubbins such as more...
- Thicks and thins
- Muttons and nuts
- Quoins and keys
- Pica rulers
- Composing sticks
If the above looks a bit like gibberish to you, you'd better book on to one of my workshops so I can explain ;)
Not to mention the more ink, papers, and wood and lead type I have, the more creative people can be during the workshops!
I'd also need less exciting things like appropriate storage, a drying rack, cleaning products and aprons. And a cake tin. There will be cake.
I am hoping to set up shop in South London, though I am searching London wide for available studios. My criteria is somewhere with natural light, near an overland station (and the underground if possible) so it's convenient to reach for Londoners and countryfolk alike!
There are a range of rewards on offer, from postcards and prints, to surprise snail mail parcels, to workshops. I hope there's something for everyone, and I've shared pictures of the printed products below.
Exclusive Postcard - £5
Each postcard will be individually hand printed in blue to yellow split fountain on recycled card, and will come with a recycled paper envelope in a biodegradable plastic sleeve.
Moroccan Tile Coasters - £10
These intricate and colourful coasters will come in a set of 6 and a choice of colours.
Individually hand printed on thick, recycled card, these coasters have a beautifully tactile impression and would make a perfect gift (if you can bear to part with them!)
That's No Moon, Limited Edition Death Star Coasters - £10
To celebrate the forthcoming episode of everyone's favourite sci-fi series, I've adapted some gorgeous Death Star fan art by my talented friend Anthony into limited edition coasters. Perfect for Christmas presents!
These were printed in a grey scale split fountain, and then passed through the press again to add the black detailing.
Limited to 20 sets of 6 (each set includes 3 from A New Hope and 3 from Return of the Jedi).
Naughty or Nice Postcards - £14
Your choice of an expletive or kind word printed on a set of five postcards. These will be printed on my Adana 8x5 using lead or wood type (depending on the length of the word!) in either black or pink ink (also your choice). Postcards are printed on recycled card, and come with recycled paper envelopes in biodegradable sleeves.
A5 Prints - £15
I have developed two of my best selling card designs into A5 prints!
The first is a lovely Winnie The Pooh quote, printed in classic black on white, soft cotton paper.
The image below is the digital file, I'll be printing it very soon though! Each will be individually hand printed on the Vicobold on to soft, tactile cotton paper.
This Shut Up Legs quote, perfect for cyclists, will be printed in a grey, to black, to green split fountain.
A4 Print - £25
Ah, the quote that started me off on my Inky journey - following a career that I loved. I hope it can set you on a happy path too!
This quote has been individually hand printed on the Vicobold on to soft, tactile cotton paper in suitably bright blue, mint, and yellow split fountain. Each will be signed and numbered.
One Year of Snail Mail - £30
I will send you a small parcel of seasonal surprises every three months for a year and let you know how the studio is going.
Each of your four parcels will include several lovely items from the Inky shop plus an exclusive printed product unavailable to buy! The first parcel will be delivered ahead of Christmas, so will be suitably festive and perfect for posting on to friends and family. Whether you can bear to part with your new stationery though, I can't say...
Workshops - £35 - £90
The workshops on offer will be perfect for complete beginners, and will range from 2 hours to a full day. They will have a maximum of two attendees at a time to allow plenty of one-on-one attention.
I want workshopees to have the chance to learn about caring for these beautiful antiques, as well as having the time and space to print exactly what they were hoping for, in a relaxed and fun environment.
Estimated delivery dates listed for workshop rewards have been set as December for Earlybirds and January for all others, but I will start to book people in as soon as the studio is set up, which will hopefully be sooner than that!
Custom Design Printing and Studio Visit - £150 - SOLD OUT
I will work with you on your own original design to make it letterpress ready, and have it adapted into a photopolymer printing plate.
You can then join me in the studio to choose your paper or card, mix your own ink, and ensure the colour is exactly what you want. I will show you the makeready process on the Vicobold, and you'll see your design come to life!
This includes printing up to 50 greeting cards, postcards, or letterheads, or up to 25 A5 prints, or A5 notebook covers in either one solid colour, or split fountain. And tea and cake, of course.
Printing Party! - £200
My trusty Adana and I will pop along to your event with inks, a multitude of paper and type, and teach your guests to print their own keepsake in letterpress taster workshops. They can choose from antique printing blocks, or simply compose their own short message.
This reward covers up to four hours of my time (this will include set up and clean up, but this should only take half an hour total), all materials, and travel within Greater London.
Risks and challenges
I've been in a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation when finding a studio. When they become available, you need to grab 'em then and there, which of course I can't do without the funds!
The risk is that I'm not able to secure a studio before my first workshops are due to take place, and I really want to be up and running well in time for people to print their own Christmas cards!
If for whatever reason the studio I'm hoping for falls through, and someone wasn't able to wait until the new studio was set up, I can happily teach on my Adana at home! There's still plenty of cake there.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)