Alan Kitching shows significant works and shares seminal influences from his fifty-year journey from printer to printmaker, apprentice to professor, Darlington to Kennington via experimental printing in Watford and letterpress in Clerkenwell to The Typography Workshop, Printroom & Studio in London SE11.
Graphic designer, typographer, letterpress printmaker and teacher, Alan Kitching is internationally renowned for his expressive use of letterpress type, process and materials in creating typographic designs for publishing, advertising and his own limited edition prints and ‘Broadside’ publications.
Born in Darlington, County Durham in 1940, Alan left school aged 14 to become an apprentice compositor with a local printer. In 1961 he moved south to pursue a career in design. New directions were inspired by working as typography instructor under Anthony Froshaug in the Experimental Printing Workshop at the School of Art in Watford College of Technology.
Alan subsequently established his own design practice, taught at the Central School of Art, and was invited by Derek Birdsall to join the Omnific Design Partnership. He became visiting lecturer in typography at the Royal College of Art in 1988 and established his workshops there for students of all disciplines.
In 1989 Kitching decided to return to his letterpress roots and launched The Typography Workshop in Clerkenwell London with the first of his A1 ‘Broadside’ sheets – ‘an occasional publication devoted to the typographic arts’. As well as compositions for corporate identities, magazine and book covers and illustrations, Alan’s work has also featured on postage stamps, theatre posters, shop windows, billboards, signage and a 30 x 15ft typographic mural for the Guardian Newspaper’s London office.
In 1994 Alan met designer and writer Celia Stothard and they began collaborating on various projects, teaching workshops and the purchase of letterpress materials. The Typography Workshop Printroom and Studio, a joint venture in two south London workspaces, was launched in September 2005.
Alan was appointed Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) and elected member of Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) in 1994. He was made Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 1998, and Visiting Professor at the London Institute (University of the Arts London) in 2001.
Alan has had shows in London and Barcelona, and contributed work to various exhibitions in Europe including the Pompidou Centre Paris, the British Library and the Barbican Art Gallery London. He has conducted his workshops and given talks to industry, art schools and design conventions in UK, Europe, Australia and South Africa.
‘…He fashions new forms, brilliant and fresh, as if printing were invented yesterday. His work invests intelligent text with clarity, dignity and economy. It is as if letterpress had been invented for him.’ Derek Birdsall
‘In an age of fleeting digital simulation his projects are a constant reminder of the seductive power and tremendous tactile satisfaction of ink pressed to paper.’ Rick Poynor, Eye magazine
Celia Stothard is a graphic designer, writer, lecturer in design communication, and partner with Alan Kitching in The Typography Workshop and a large collection of letterpress type and materials. She first learned letterpress at St Martin’s School of Art.
The Typography Workshop uses letterpress materials, wood and metal type and printing presses, to create unique, expressive, typographic design and limited edition prints up to A1 format. The Printroom houses two printing presses and a wide collection of metal type. The Studio hosts occasional workshops and houses proofing presses and a large collection of wood type. The studio gallery is hung with original artworks and prints for purchase; viewing is by appointment only.
Update Unfortunately, due to the volume of correspondence received by The Typography Workshop, we have been obliged to remove the contact address from this page.