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For the love of the letterpress: St Bride Foundation Wayzgoose 2019


n Sunday, the 19th of May, St Bride Foundation will held its annual wayzgoose. In case you are wondering what this fundraiser is all about St Bride Foundation Wayzgoose is the "annual celebration of the art of letterpress, with the chance to purchase equipment and prints, or experience demonstrations of techniques like engraving, calligraphy and more". The event is a must-go for any fan of print, graphic design, typography, books and "the heavenly smell of ink!"

The event is an open call to celebrate all things letterpress, to meet and network with the wider letterpress community from London and beyond and more importantly, to buy letterpress equipment, type and ornaments, printed items, books and lots more. Also, all the newbies to the world of letterpress you will be able to try their hand at it in the Print Workshop where the typographers will be having live demonstrations in letterpress, wood engraving, sign writing, and calligraphy. But what is wayzgoose, you wonder. Well, answer provided:

"The word wayzgoose causes a frown of confusion for many people. Quite often, this facial expression is quickly followed by the question, ‘what’s a wayzgoose?’. For printers, on the other hand, this slightly unorthodox word is a signal to cobble together some money and inspect the diary for availability" notes St Bride Foundation. 

"The earliest sense of the word wayzgoose in the OED is ‘an entertainment given by a master-printer to mark the beginning of a new season’. Apparently, these events traditionally took place at Bartholomew tide (around August 29) under candlelight. John Southward writes in his 1875 publication, Dictionary of typography and its accessory arts, that a wayzgoose generally consists of ‘a trip into the country, open-air amusements, a good dinner, and speeches and toasts afterward’. Later on, the meaning appears to have broadened to simply denote ‘an annual festivity by members of the printing establishment, typically held at summer’. Yet the use of the word in a couple of other publications includes different details, leading us to doubt that the meaning of wayzgoose has ever been absolutely definitive."

"Some authors write that it actually took place at the beginning of Winter. Others use the more general term of ‘journey-men’ for those in attendance, rather than strictly ‘printers’. Even the origins of the -goose element carry some mystery, although a popular theory is that the feathered animal was the traditional centerpiece of the festival’s dinner. Nowadays, the word has a new meaning once more. A wayzgoose remains an annual festivity for printers, but now it’s also a place to buy and sell printing equipment, type, and various other related products of this inky craft."

The annual affair that is not to be missed, St Bride Foundation Wayzgoose is being held to raise money for one of London’s best kept secrets, The St Bride Library. 

John Southward writes in his 1875 publication, Dictionary of typography and its accessory arts, that a wayzgoose generally consists of ‘a trip into the country, open-air amusements, a good dinner, and speeches and toasts afterward’. 

Home to one of the world’s most significant collections of books, items and related ephemera about printing, typography, paper-making and graphic design St Bride Foundation was established in 1891 as the social and educational hub of the printing and publishing industry on Fleet Street.

Nowadays there is a core aim running throughout the organization, which is to elevate the heritage of printing, whilst inspiring the future of design. This is achieved through regular exhibitions, a variety of programs in our printing workshop, and a library which holds one of the most impressive collections of books on printing and typography in the world

So ladies and gentlemen who are into the smell of ink your invitation has been provided. If your a lover of the letterpress in London, this Sunday is by default one of the best -for the ages. More here