image of pressman working in the shop

Maxims for Letterpress Printers

Study the work of first-class printers.  A skillful workman has expended time, thought, and labour in it’s production.

Always pick up a type, lead, rule or quoin, at the time it is dropped.  This is not only a saving of material, but it engenders a habit of carefulness and economy.  Moreover, the stooping and bending of the body is often a relief, especially after standing erect for some time.

It is better to remain idle than to work at a loss.

Do your work carefully, striving for constant improvement.

No matter how good a printer you are, you will learn something new every day; and in every job you do for a customer, study how you can improve it next time.

You cannot be a successful printer if the imprint of care and study is not upon brain and hands.

Unless an apprentice is possessed of an ambition and determination to excel, the chances are that he will always be but a poor workman.

Colour blindness is much more common among printers than is generally supposed, if one is permitted to judge from jobs sent out.

~ Excerpts from The Printers Handbook, by Charles Thomas Jacobi, The Chiswick Press, London 1891