Mount Street Printers uses techniques old and new to create the ultimate in stationery.
Mount Street Printers uses printing machines dating back 80 years, as well as modern computer techniques, to create exquisitely rendered stationery.
Dedication to hand-crafted, sustainable British manufacturing has earned the printers a Royal Warrant.
And the company is constantly on the lookout for old printing machines on sale.
For the costs of manufacturing such well-made machines today would simply not be viable.
“People had a different mindset in those days. Tooling parts and building things was done for the long-term,” says Alex Cain.
The shop, which he now runs with his parents, relies on durable, sophisticated quality.
It creates rendered stationery, letterheads, greetings cards and all manner of printed materials.
Interestingly, there has been a printing shop at this address on Mount Street since it was built in 1890.
The first tenant was renowned in the area for traditional, hand-made printing techniques like engraving and letterpress. They also created stationery by Royal Appointment.
By chance, Peter and Fridette Cain opened a second printing shop on the site in 1981.
But locals, who remembered the previous tenants, were excited about the apparent reopening. Soon they came in seeking out its traditional techniques.
Mount Street Printers was happy to meet demand, and bought in the necessary machines.
Old and new
The oldest is a die-stamping machine.
This is a seven-foot, three-tonne iron mass of wheels, levers, pulleys and rolls of paper smeared with excess blue ink.
It creates striking letterheads by engraving a raised, inked impression of a design on paper.
But there is no romanticised resistance to modernisation, despite the great respect for traditional craft.
“There’s no need, because the processes go so well together,” says Cain.
“The evolution of the desktop publishing era made it so easy to design for print. If anything, it enhances the value of the old equipment.”
With such an arsenal of printing techniques available, it means that each job can be personalised.
“No two jobs are the same. There’s no cookie-cutter option.”
Cain adds: “More and more, customers are pushing the boundaries. They’re tired of having these template-driven design options online.”