A Life in Letterpress

Alan Kitching

Many working designers, whatever their field of practice, recognise the power, authenticity and formal beauty in Kitching’s work.

John L Walters

In a world of uniformity Alan Kitching’s work stands out. Maybe a little to his surprise, he has become rather fashionable and in demand. Not obsolete at all but utterly current.

Alan Rushbridger

I know no man more in his element. With a wizard’s mix of inks and fonts, Alan has produced unique posters and broadsheets, astonishing in their originality and freshness.

Derek Birdsall

The Book

Alan Kitching
Special Edition:
A Life in Letterpress

This edition will have a 3-piece binding.


Alan Kitching
Collector's Edition:
A Life in Letterpress

This is a limited edition of 200 copies only, which includes a hand printed letterpress signed print, numbered and wrapped round the book to form a jacket.


This long-awaited monograph documents the work of world-renowned typographer, designer and letterpress practitioner Alan Kitching. 

Spanning over fifty years, this lavish volume leads us from Kitching's first typographical experiments under the auspices of mentor Anthony Froshaug to his most iconic creations at The Typography Workshop. It covers his years designing alongside Derek Birdsall, as well as his time teaching letterpress at the Royal College of Art, and showcases his most colourful and expressive pieces, including his prolific work for The Guardian. Kitching's work hangs in private collections and galleries but it has also featured on everything from magazine and book covers, postage stamps and theatre posters, to wine labels, billboards and signage.

Author: John L. Walters
Art director: Simon Esterson
Designer: Jon Kielty
Photographers: John Bodkin and Philip Sayer
Publisher: Laurence King

The Exhibition

New dates coming soon

Alan Kitching is one of the world’s foremost practitioners of letterpress typographic design and printmaking. He is renowned for his expressive use of wood and metal letterforms in creating visuals for commissions and limited edition prints. He lives and works at The Typography Workshop in Kennington, south London, which he shared with designer, writer and partner Celia Stothard (deceased 2010).

This exhibition is a landmark event. It will not only show finished pieces of work but showcase the method and process behind key works with sketches, proofs and roughs gathered from Alan’s own archive. Objects, artefacts and equipment from Alan’s workshops will enlighten visitors to the inspiration and motivation behind the work.

Copyright Helen Cathcart / Be-Bolder.com

Tour Dates

21 April – 2 May 2016
Pick me Up, Somerset House, London

3 June – 20 August 2016
The Lettering Arts Centre, Snape, Suffolk

12 – 21 October 2016
Design Manchester 16, Manchester School of Art and Fred Aldous

9 December 2016 – 5 March 2017
The Lighthouse, Glasgow


Alan Kitching and Monotype collaborated to produce an exclusive set merchandise.

Printer's Apron

A 100% cotton apron in slate gray, with fully adjustable neck and waist straps.  This limited run of 25 was designed and hand pressed by Alan Kitching for the Somerset House and the Alan Kitching: A Life in Letterpress Exhibition. The apron was produced in the UK by The Apron Company.



Cloth-bound hardback sketchbooks. The cover features foil blocking of Alan’s wood type. Bound and hand finished in the UK.


Postcard book

A 26-page postcard book, one for every letter, features wood letters from Alan Kitching’s studio.


A big thank you to our exhibition sponsors














For any information about the exhibition or tour enquiries please contact Daniel Chehade 


For any press enquiries please contact Karoline Newman