New From Old

PlymouthPress uses the OpenType-SVG Image format, a new and cutting-edge font technology. Each glyph has been digitised directly from prints made using our antique letterpress facilities.

Texture Rich

Since the font uses bitmap images to render each glyph, the detailed textures present in the original prints have been retained, in a way that is not possible with traditional vector-based fonts.

Auto Alternate Glyphs

The font uses OpenType scripting to automatically cycle through a range of alternate glyphs for each character, giving a ‘random’ appearance as you type. Alternates can also be chosen manually in supported applications.

About the Font

All you need to know to start using PlymouthPress.

Suggested Usage

The font is intended for display purposes only, and is not suitable for body text. It exudes character, creativity, and works best when making bold, evocative statements:

Technical Limitations

The font does not contain a full character set for each typeface variant, is uppercase only, and does not contain any numerals. Many common symbols are also missing, although basic punctuation is present.

PlymouthPress has a much larger file size than standard fonts, weighing in at over 12MB. Although fine for desktop use, this makes it impractical for embedding as a web font.

To strike a balance between image definition and final file size, the original scanned images have been scaled to 550 pixels in height. Exceeding this size may cause a loss of detail, blurring or pixellation. In practice, on a 300dpi document, type can be set at up to 200pt and still appear sharp.

In many applications, type appears black and cannot be recoloured. If you wish to apply colour, gradients or other effects to your type, you must use a bitmap image editor such as Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Designer or Pixelmator.


PlymouthPress is made available under the SIL Open Font Licence (OFL). You are able to use it freely for both non-commercial and commercial uses, under certain conditions.

View the full licence

Application Support

Adobe Creative Suite

  • Adobe Photoshop CC 2017+
  • Adobe Illustrator CC 2018+
  • Adobe InDesign CC 2019+

Other Design Packages

  • QuarkXPress 2018+
  • Affinity Designer for Mac OS 10.14+
  • Affinity Photo for Mac OS 10.14+
  • Affinity Publisher for Mac OS 10.14+
  • Pixelmator for Mac OS 10.14+
  • Sketch for Mac OS 10.14+

Operating Systems

  • Mac OS 10.14+, including native Apple apps such as Pages and Keynote
  • Windows 10+
  • iOS12+

Development Process

How PlymouthPress was created.


How to access the font features in Photoshop

Initial Set Up

Install the font in the usual way. You may need to relaunch Photoshop before PlymouthPress becomes available in the font menu.

Apply and edit the font within your designs using the Text Tool, in the same way as any other.

Selecting Alternates

From the Photoshop menu, select Preferences > Type and check that the Enable Type layer glyph alternates tickbox is selected:

This allows you to manually pick alternate glyphs from a flyout when selecting individual characters with the Text Tool:

For automatic selection of alternates as you type, you must ensure the Contextual Alternates option is selected in the Character panel:

Changing Colour

Because each character is made from an image, you can't change type colour with the usual Color Picker method. Instead you must do it using a ‘Color Overlay’ Layer Style:

To add a gradient effect to your type, you can achieve this using the ‘Gradient Overlay’ Layer Style:


PlymouthPress was created using the facilties within the School of Art Design and Architecture at the University of Plymouth, UK.
It was developed by staff and graduates from the BA(Hons) Graphic Design course.

Project devised by: James Brocklehurst
Supervision of printing: Paul Collier
Print production: Jordon Hill
Scanning of prints: Jordon Hill
Font development: James Brocklehurst
Website development: James Brocklehurst
Photography: Alan Stewart
Website template: Story by HTML5 UP

Happy Pressing!