Growlygracepress's Blog

give your designs freely and take friendship in return.
June 29, 2013, 8:05 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


In the Foreword to “Printing for Pleasure” Vivian Ridler sets out what is going to the most fantastic guide to a skill that has ever been written (see how I said ‘skill’ it’s because terms like ‘craft’ have been rendered meaningless) anyway I digress, at the the short and perfect foreword Vivian Ridler finishes with :

“And so be guided by Ryder. He will not let you down.”

How perfect is that.

Right up front in Chapter 1 Introduction “Pleasure as Profit” John Ryder hits the nail on the head.

“You should dispense with any idea of running a small press as a money making sideline. In the first place to do so would put you under obligation to people who perhaps know nothing about print. You may be asked to produce items with which you have little or no sympathy and become involved with the keeping of accounts. It would be far better to use your equipment as an instrument of design, to give your designs freely and to take friendship in return. If your growing circle of friends does not quickly convince you of the value of this attitude you may be sure you are mis-spending your leisure and that your talent lies elsewhere.

Is that not just the most impressive thing you have ever read in your entire life?


I have to go and dig the allotment but I am coming back to this vitally important little book during the day.

I got the marble sides finally on to this book.


I had been neglecting the book because it needed this paper and not the blue cloth I was going to put on it and I was dragging my feet because it’s an expensive paper costing more than the total material in the whole of the book!
Book wins out in the end as he is handsome.


1 Comment so far
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My God that excerpt hits the nail right on the head. To make to sell, is to compromise. But I do believe that if you make a pact with the capitalist devil but nurture your own work alongside, it is possible to come out the other side (providing you have deep skill and originality) to a position where people want what ever it is you choose to make because they want to invest in your work.
But it is a chancy path, the one he advocates is safer.

Comment by Dixie Nichols

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