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Blog Post By Genevieve Lewis

Hidden printing treasures in France

Rochefort was mostly a base whilst we explored La Rachelle, which was not too far away. However, we found that it was a small historic town, which praises a grand naval boat in its harbour, L’Hermione.

On your way down to the harbour, you will come across a small shopfront, with cards neatly lined up in the window. Peeking through the blinds, an old press can be seen.

Printing at Rue Audry de Puyravault, in Rochefort-sur-mer has run for around 180 years. The traditional press was rediscovered in 2008, and continues to print cards and books for the local community, still using the same style.

Imprim 17 now run the press, which is located in a 17th century house, near to the harbour and in the centre of the city. This house has played home to successive printers who ran the press, since 1901.

The firm offers traditionally printed products, which are still created using typography

The characters used to print sentences are still original, made from wood or lead, and can date back to the 19th century, and mostly from the early 20th century.

Imprim 17 offers all the options as a modern print firm, detailing the availability of posters, flyers, brochures, and book printing. Not only is the traditional press used, but the French firm also rely on digital technology to create their orders, as well as offering basic bindery.

The traditional typography is also available to customers, and can be used to create products in both French and English.

Unfortunately, the traditional press is only open for public viewing on Wednesdays as a tourist attraction, so I was not able to have a good look at it, except for the scraps I could steal through the blinds. A reason to go back perhaps?

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