Desmond Jeffery – Type and Space

Desmond Jeffery (1926 – 1974) was a letterpress printer and typography teacher in London and Suffolk.

Type and Space exhibition features Jeffery’s little-known works and draws on his passion for hand-set type and demonstrates why his keen eye and use of European typefaces have been so highly regarded by clients and subsequent generations of designers.

Following a stint in the Royal Air Force, Jeffery bought an Adana Press and started printing out of his mother’s back room in New Malden. He was inspired by the possibilities of hand-set letterpress after seeing work by the typographer and teacher Anthony Froshaug who later became a close friend.
Jeffery began printing posters, invitation cards, letterhead and menus for local businesses and by 1956 had set up a full letterpress workshop in Marylebone featuring a Heidelberg Platen. His work focused on collaborations with local galleries, architects, orchestras and leftist societies, employing some of the most exciting typography and layouts of the day to meet their everyday stationery needs.

This exhibition features posters, prints and cards produced for Robert Erskine and his St. George’s Gallery who were at the forefront of a renaissance in British printmaking, as well as more political pieces including those for the Partisan coffee house and the Solidarity group. Some of the best examples of the marriage of Jeffery’s political and professional beliefs can be found in projects such as theSolidaritymanifesto (1968) and Red Paper(1969).

October 20-28, 2012
Spike Island, Bristol

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