Born lives and works in Essex
Established in 2008, Typoretum was founded by Justin Knopp and his wife Cecilia in response to an increasing demand for Justin’s typographical design and letterpress printing skills.
Justin’s first interest in the aesthetics of letterpress came about when his late Uncle Ernest, who was a compositor at Royle’s in London, saved for him a Monotype typeface sample book. Ernest had witnessed the sudden shift from letterpress to newer technology. For weeks piles of typecases, composing room equipment and wooden type burned behind the factory – it is from one of these bonfires that he rescued this specimen book.
Justin studied BA (hons) Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design (1991-1994), specialising in typography and printmaking. Whilst at Saint Martins he worked in the college’s Composing Room – a 1950s time capsule deep down in the bowels of the building – and he quickly became fascinated by the creative potential of the process and by the ancient skills and ingenious machines employed to make it all happen.
Since graduating, his involvement with letterpress printing has deepened and he has amassed a substantial collection of lead and antique wooden types, printing machines and other paraphernalia – much of which he has rescued and restored to working order.
Today Typoretum is a busy, family run contemporary letterpress design and printing studio offering a wide variety of services. These include short courses and internship opportunities to ensure that the craft is kept alive and continues to be taught to a new generation of letterpress printers, designers and enthusiasts.