the Ptolemaic Press

Our specialism is hand composing metal and wood type, including decorative flourishes, (usually) vintage image blocks and rules for short-run publications.

Open to the public
Provides courses or training
Available for craft fairs
Not available


Sandridge Road
SN12 7BQ
the Ptolemaic Press


The Ptolemaic Press is a traditional letterpress print establishment, publishing hand-crafted publications on archival quality paper using vintage equipment. We specialise in short print runs of magazines and occasional poetry, typically two to three titles per year.



Since 2012 our primary business has been publishing the Terrascopædia, an illustrated occasional dedicated to underground rock, folk and psychedelic music. We feel that printing the magazine in letterpress gives the pages and the words thereon both weight and dignity. The magazine has depth and warmth; it's a tactile, physical counterpoint to the glossy uniformity of the scrolling acres of today's bland digital media.


Typeset entirely by hand and printed on mould-made paper made from part cotton rag, the Terrascopædia is a direct descendant of a commercially printed offset litho magazine named 'the Ptolemaic Terrascope' which was published between 1989 and 2004. It is however very much seen by us as a standalone publication and not a continuation.


The primary type used throughout the Terrascopædia is 12pt, 16pt & 24pt Poliphilus (Monotype series 170, 1923), although we also have a wide range of both composition and display founts to hand.


In addition to publishing the Terrascopædia, we print postcards, paper bags, price tags, poetry, lyrics and inserts for record releases.

Mini craft gallery

Terrascopædia issue 19
Terrascopædia issue 17
Terrascopædia issue 18