Quick Take At The Baddeley Brothers Press

Located north east of London proper and near the wondrous London Fields in the borough of Hackney sits one of England’s best kept printing treasures: The Baddeley Brothers press shop. Cultivating and drawing from a over a hundred years of rich craftsmanship history that had its beginnings in clockmaking, engraving, and die-makers, the company transitioned to engraving and printing. Charles Pertwee was able to let us take a quick look at some of the printing riches that bloom within their walls.

PRINTING HISTORY Essentially we are specialist printers and envelope makers. Techniques covering engraving, die stamping, letterpress, blind embossing, foiling, gilt edging, machine and hand machine envelopes plus other types of paper conversion. Typically our output involves: business cards, invitations, letterheads, folders, envelopes, tissue lined envelopes, labels, and color edged cards.

Letterpress printing samples from Baddeley Brother print shop in England
(photography courtesy of The Baddeley Brothers)

(Gold ink in a die-stamping press courtesy of Glithero and Paper Planes video/project)
(Gold ink in a die-stamping press courtesy of Glithero and Paper Planes video/project)

IN THE BEGINNING In the 1850’s this [type of printing, letterpress printing] was the staple method of commercial print and Baddeley Brothers are a trade house. I was first introduced by being given a lino cut print set at the age of seven.

Baddeley Bros. Embossing Press in a printing book by Herrick circa 1900s. Scan courtesy of the St. Brides Library, London
(Baddeley Bros. Embossing Press in a printing book by Herrick circa 1900s. Scan courtesy of the St. Brides Library, London)

Work samples from The Baddeley Brothers print shop
(photography courtesy of The Baddeley Brothers)

THE BEST PART IN PRINTING I am a Specialist Printer and Envelope Maker. Watching an envelope machine convert paper into high quality envelopes is hypnotizing.

Wallpaper Magazine feature on the Baddeley Brothers print shop
(Photo courtesy of Josh at Wallpaper Magazine)

PRINTING FEATS Working with Wallpaper Magazine and international designers Glithero on the collaboration “Paper Planes” which exhibited in Milan, Harrods and Miami.

PRESS HISTORY Due to our history as engravers and die sinkers, our first press is more likely to be a burin, engraving glass and pad. My favorite is the envelope cutting press and the automatic die-stamping press.

Heidelberg press
(Heidelberg Press – letterpress courtesy of Glithero and Paper Planes video/project printing No3 Spirograph (Black layer litho, Blue layer letterpress, Red layer letterpress, Silver layer diestamped on Zen 120gsm))

PRINTING ACROSS THE POND In the area, there’s lots in the London’s East End, from artisan bakers, breweries to fish smokers. Lots of designers and hipsters!

Printing samples from the Baddeley Brothers in London
(photography courtesy of The Baddeley Brothers)

SHOP ADVICE Always blind emboss on an uncoated material to enable the light to catch shadow of the image, this is not nearly as effective on a coated or gloss material.

Printing samples by The Baddeley Brothers
(photography courtesy of The Baddeley Brothers)

WHAT’S NEXT In the process of writing a book that seeks to tell a compelling story about the company, its locations, and characters up to the present day.

A huge gracious round of thanks and appreciation out to Charles Pertwee of Baddeley Brothers press for letting take a quick peek at their wonderful letterpress printing world!

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