BA (Hons) Visual Communication students were treated to an extensive two-day workshop on the 8th and 9th January by influential artist, David Armes of Red Plate Press.

David Armes works with letterpress printing, language and geography for his art, and is predominantly ‘site-specific’. He uses various source materials to reflect how ‘sense of space’ can be represented, and frequently works in public places in order to convey a social message. He has his own letterpress studio called Red Plate Press.


Arranged by Course Leader, Sally Hope, the aim of the workshop was to tutor students in the letterpress and bindery processes. The class was supported by Designer and Bindery Technician, Joseph Warin, BA (Hons) Visual Communication Alumni.

The workshop was popular with the students who benefitted from both Armes’ and Warin’s exemplary use of print terminology, and friendly, hands-on teaching approach. It was also refreshing to ditch the digital platforms students would normal use in favour of the letterpress, an original printing technique.


Third Year Student, Viktors Mihalevs, echoed the rest of the students’ sentiments in his glowing review of the workshop, he said:

‘Monday [day one of the workshop] was expressive, free and welcome, letting us go wild with type setting but teaching us about printing rules… One of the best things was seeing non-traditional print techniques like pressure printing with pieces of paper and string, or ghost printing where sometimes the results were better than the original print. Tuesday [day two] was like learning to run after you learned to walk. Tense, precise and technical – beautiful.

David has a lot of knowledge that he shared with us professionally, which was motivational. He didn’t present as a teacher but as one of us. Instead of standing and watching him do things, he allowed us to be in the process. He trusted us with complicated actions and important decisions which led to stunning results.

… Besides gaining new skills and motivation I also gained confidence about my myself… Our university has amazing collection of type and beautiful printing presses so having an expert show us how to use them is definitely one of those things I will brag about between other designers when I graduate.’

Discover more about the BA (Hons) Visual Communication course.