Alan Kitching's A-Z of Letterpress

A new book showcases the extensive wood-letter fount collection of Alan Kitching's Typography Workshop in true committed style – every image featured in his A – Z of Letterpress was originally printed by hand...

Published by Laurence King, the book contains 39 alphabets displayed letter by letter, a number next to each one identifying it as per its family name. Kitching has tracked down the names of many of the founts through his own type-specimen books.

A series of single pages of full alphabets, such as Playbill (below), Tuscan, Victorian Roman and French Antique, divide the selection.

Playbill alphabet

Modern Bold alphabet

All the examples in the book come from just three sources, as Eye magazine's John L Walters explains in his introduction.

There's the collection of theatrical type from the Somerset village of Wrington – once home to G&M Organ, a company who printed posters up for circuses and pantomimes; the mid-century selection from an antique dealer called Rafferty, who turned up at Kitching's studio with the cases in his van; and the range of various founts once owned by Typographica magazine founder, Herbert Spencer.

Tuscan alphabet


The book is likely to whet the appetite of many a letterpress fan in advance of the extensive monograph on Kitching which is scheduled for publication next year, also from Laurence King.

More details on Alan Kitching's A – Z of Letterpress (£16.95) at For information on Kitching's Typography Workshop, see