Historic discovery at Diss printers inspires Ebola charity auction
A family-run printing business in Diss plans to raise funds for the fight against the Ebola virus after finding a set of rare letterpress fonts potentially dating back hundreds of years.
Cupiss Letterpress, located at The Wilderness in The Entry, unexpectedly discovered a collection of unidentified hand-cut headline fonts believed to have originated in the mid 1800s, in an unused attic at its premises.
Inspired by the find, the company has joined up with Pulham Market graphic design firm Blue Scream Murder to produce a set of limited edition posters with designs based on these historic fonts, set to be auctioned off to raise money for the Ebola aid operations in north Africa.
Chris Stiven, of Blue Scream Murder, told the Diss Express: “When they were discovered, we were very enthusiastic to work with them. We really wondered ‘what can we do?’
“The next thing is we are keen to get the details of this out on social media. We really want to spread the net as far as we can and get it under the noses of people who know a lot about typography.
“What I hope is someone will enjoy the designs for their very limited set of fonts. We are hoping to raise quite a bit of money.”
The first of the six posters, entitled ‘Captain of my Destiny’, based on a quote from Nelson Mandela, has already been printed, while the other five will be put up for auction at a later date, with only 100 copies of each set to be made.
Cupiss Letterpress, which has been at its current facilities for 140 years, says it is also eager for people to get in touch and shed light on this mysterious find.
John Harding, the company’s managing director, said: “We know almost nothing about these fonts. They show evidence of having been hand cut, which is a very old practice in terms of creating letterpress type.
“It is possible that the typefaces do not have a name, but that they were simply identified by their depth, which was common practice around the mid 1800s. We’d love to find someone who could tell us more about them.”
Anybody with information on the identity of history of the letterpress fonts is encouraged to contact John Harding on 01379 642045, or send an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org