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The Printing Bike Project

by Camilla

Between 2009 and 2010 graphic designer, photographer and cyclist Nick Hand rode around the British Isles, recording the stories of artists and craftspeople he met along his 6,500-mile journey in ‘soundslides’. The project was called Slowcoast and if you came to last year’s Folksy Summer School you might have heard Nick talking about his travels.

Now Nick is planning another bicycle adventure, this time involving a printing press, a tent and the long road south.

For this journey Nick is enlisting the help of friend and bicycle builder Robin Mather to design and build a cargo bike to carry a printing press, paper, ink and type, and cycle with the press from Bristol, through France to Mainz in southern Germany, where Johannes Gutenberg invented moveable type in 1450 and so changed the world forever.

The journey involves meeting artists, writers and poets, who will describe the journey in illustration and word. Nick and Robin will print the original artworks on postcards and post these to supporters of the project during the trip. As the postcards will be posted en route, they will be unique bits of postmarked and dated art from the journey.

The bicycle will be built in July and August, and the printing adventure from Bristol to Mainz will start in mid-September. On its return The Letterpress Collective will take the Printing Bike round schools and organisations to demonstrate the 500-year-old art of typesetting and letterpress printing (without a computer in sight).

You can be part of the project and the recipient of one of the postcards (or even the full set) sent during the Printing Bike’s journey to Mainz by backing The Printing Bike Project on Kickstarter, and help Nick and Robin continue the story of the printed word.

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