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World record for the People Powered Press

Leeds design studio Split has set a Guinness World Record with its People Powered Press – now recognised as the world’s largest letterpress printing press.

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The People Powered Press sets a Guinness World Record

On show this week at Fedrigoni’s London studio during Clerkenwell Design Week, the People Powered Press was made in 2018 as part of a project exploring northern identity through type.

These Northern Types is an exhibition series and book that explores Northern identity through type design, using a new typeface designed by Split’s creative director Oli Bentley, especially for the press.

The letters compromising the font, named Graft, are cut from steel at 720pt, with a set of large feature numerals measuring 3480pt, or 136cm tall. The inspiration for the font came from the cross-section of the I-beams that support so many of the industrial buildings across the north of England.

With a print area of 145cm x 94cm, the press was built by West Yorkshire engineering firm JKN OilTools and was designed to create large-scale posters for display in local communities.

It’s great to be able to introduce the People Powered Press in this hub for the design community

Bentley says: “We’re thrilled to be announcing this World Record as we arrive at Clerkenwell Design Festival. It’s great to be able to introduce the People Powered Press in this hub for the design community, and show off the fantastic engineering work that went into it by Ian and the team at JKN to whom we’re incredibly grateful.

“We’re looking forward then to what the future holds when we get the press back home to Leeds, and I hope the record will help us extend our work with new community groups across the north.”

Clerkenwell Design Week celebrates the area of Clerkenwell as a creative hub, with more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else in the world. The event will see a series of showroom events, exhibitions and special installations taking place across the area from Tuesday, May 21st until Thursday, May 23rd.

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