For The Love of Letterpress

Back in 1864 when the original Ossett Observer was founded, before digital, before lithographic, before steam and way before Wapping … the whole business of printing was a manual labour of love.

In our archive we have Ossett Almanacks dating back to 1865. They’re a beautiful history of Ossett and it’s development as a wool town. But they also hold a history of printing, graphic design, commerce and art. We’ve been both inspired and dismayed reading through them as part of our research for Flock To Ossett. Inspired by the skill, effort and artistry that went into making just ONE copy of a newspaper in 1864, inspired because the paper is so thin and the print so heavy that you can feel the work in the pages 148 years after they were made. Indentations left by people long gone that we can still feel and touch and read.


But dismayed that today  just about everything happens on one of these machines that I’m typing on now, words and images and text are designed and sent electronically to a printer, they press buttons, load up paper and hey presto 5000 copies for £99.

What’s wrong with that you ask? Well nothing if that’s what you want. But over here at The Observer Office we like to take our time. We like things you can touch and feel, that are hand made with love and skill. We also like to nod to our heritage and origins as a small press. So with that in mind we have made these beautiful Letterpress works just for you.


Designed by Antony Shephard each one has been handmade by printer Nick Loaring at The Print Project in Bradford. In keeping with Ossett’s town motto ‘Inutile Utile Ex Arte’, Nick salvages and recycles print equipment rendered obsolete by modern print houses. He then lovingly crafts printed items for each of his clients. We think they’ve done a beautiful job for us with this poster.


If you would like to own one there are several ways that one could grace your dwelling.  You can contact us here at Ossett Observer and purchase one for only FIVE pounds. Or we are giving away copies signed by the artist when you purchase four or more tickets for our Ossett Observer Weekend Extra. You can buy tickets from our local coffee shop Eller Coffee in Ossett or buy contacting us directly here at The Observer Office. For more information on the WEEKEND EXTRA look HERE


We hope you will like them, we think they are works of great beauty.




Irene Rhodes

Well I have my own tickets for the weekend extra but can’t use four – so I will happily pay £5 for a poster. Keep me one please. I’m not around this weekend. X

Ossett Observer Admin

We most certainly will. We’ll be selling any we have left at the John Godber Company event on June 17th.


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