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About the press

Effra Press, until the end of 2012, took up about two square metres of living room space Autovicin Nick Gill & Victoria Knowland’s tiny rented cottage in south-east London, with small type cases and home-made lead racks stacked as high as we could get them, and paper stored under the bed in some increasingly-flimsy units.

As of 2016, the press has moved several times, ever further from the underground river whose name we borrowed, acquiring more equipment and taking up more floor space along the way, and is now based in North Yorkshire, UK.  There are now two sides to the operation –

  • the private press, making books, music, ephemera and other artistic projects that take our fancy.
  • the typefoundry, offering hot metal typesetting, founts, leading and rules to letterpress printers.

Monotype Composition CasterMonotype Super CasterUntil February 2016, Nick worked at Hand & Eye Letterpress, one of the UK’s very few remaining jobbing printers. Under the eye of Phil Abel, he set type, made up pages, proofed, comped, printed and ran the Monotype casters for seven years; as a result of working on customers’ jobs, he’s had experience of a wide range of projects, and is used to working to exacting standards.

He has worked at The Type Archive (formerly The Type Museum) for many years, making matrices and cutting punches. Thanks to the tuition of Parminder Kumar Rajput, he’s one of two people in the world capable of making Monotype Composition matrices from Monotype punches.

Cefmor galley proofing press

In 2015, Nick was given a grant by the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust to study the cutting of typographic punches by hand, the casting of type in a hand mould, and the casting of type on pivotal casters. He’s now one of the very few people in the world who have cut a punch by hand, and one of an even smaller number who continue to do so.

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