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Jan 20, 2011

Born in the mind of John Randle at the age of 14 when he first entered his school's press room, the Whittington Press started life in a disused cottage.

Its first book, Richard Kennedy’s A Boy at the Hogarth Press, was printed on weekends during 1971-1972 on an 1848 Columbian.

Matrix -  the Randles' revered annual publication on fine press printing - started out as a planned slim volume of some thirty two pages saddle stitched into stiff covers; the objective was for it to serve as “ a means of seeing in print a few short pieces which would not in themselves justify the production of individual titles, but which together might make a worthwhile publication.” Matrix 1 grew to seventy two pages, and had to be square backed.  

With it the Randle’s created an environment in which “author, artist and printer, punch-cutter and type-caster “can work separately and together to both nurture and explore each others’ skills. The revered annual provides an important platform for typographical dialog among and between fine press aficionados on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. I met John Randle recently in his repurposed gardener’s cottage to talk about his Press, his calling, and his thoughts about the practice of fine press printing.