Arts & Crafts and the Private Press Movement


Guild of Handicraft

1888, Charles Ashbee founded the Guild of Handicraft. He then opened a school called, The School of Handicraft. This school taught with the idea that the teaching of design and theory should be combined with workshop or hands-on experience. This teaching philosophy was successful, but die to financial problems the school closed in 1895.
The Guild still continued and later opened the Essex House Press. Ashbee hired many people from the Kelmscott Press after Morris’ death (1896). The Essex Press worked on the same ideals as Kelmscott - the perfection of the book. The Guild dissolved in 1907 again due to financial troubles.

Eragny Press

1894, Lucien and Ester Pissaro moved from France to England to open Eragny Press where the printing was more advanced at the time. (Lucien’s father was the Impressionist painter Camille Pissaro).

The typeface called Brook was designed at Eragny.

Pissaro set himself apart from the other private presses at the time by looking beyond present day for inspiration, but looking at the past and to the future. Generally the work used more white space in its design.

Ashendene Press

1895, Hornby opened Ashendene Press. The focus of this press was typography. The goal was to create elegant, straightforward and legible typography and books.

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Vale Press

1896, Charles Ricketts founded the Vale Press. Ricketts spent most of his time working on design rather than running the press.

Ricketts was known for his strong illustration skills, and as he progressed his style moved away from the characteristics of the Arts & Crafts and toward the style of Art Nouveau.

Doves Press

1900, Cobden-Sanderson and Walker established Doves Press.

The focus of this press was typography. The master calligrapher Edward Johnston worked with the press.


Klingspor Type Foundry

Koch was the most important of the German type designers, and he was closely associated with Klingspor Type Foundry. Koch believed that the alphabet was the “supreme spiritual achievement of humanity”. In his work he tried to imitate the medieval scribe, where he drew his inspiration. One of the faces he designed was called Neuland, and was based on pen-drawn calligraphy.


Roycroft Press

1894, Hubbard opened the Roycroft Press and Roycroft Shops, where handmade good were produced in the Arts & Crafts style. The press and shops were located in upstate New York and became a big tourist attraction.

Hubbard kept very closely to the style of William Morris, and that brought him admirers along with critics, who included the daughter of Morris, who felt he was just imitating her father. Hubbard’s life ended abruptly when the ship he was sailing went down.


Camelot Press and Booklet Press were presses that Frederic Goudy opened during his career, but both were short lived.

Goudy is best known as a typographer and type designer. He designed 122 typefaces during his career - all successful. Goudy also wrote a few books on typography including, “The Alphabet,” (1908), “Elements of Lettering,” (1921), and “Typologia,” (1940).

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Bruce Rogers is best known for his book design; he designed under a strong influence from the Art & Crafts. Rogers believed that when a book was designed the total book needed to be considered. He designed books that used commercial production, thus allowing the working class to appreciate good book design.

In 1915, Rogers designed the typeface Centaur.

In 1919, Rogers went to England to work for Cambridge Press

Rogers designed over 700 books, and he felt only 30 of those 700 were successful.

American Type Founders Company

Benton was the head of the American Type Founders Company.

From 1901 until 1935, Benton designed approximately 225 typefaces including Century, News Gothic, and Souvenir.

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