Paddington Printshop was started in 1974 by John Phillips and Pippa Smith with the aim of assisting community organisations to promote their ideas through graphic media. In 1991 it became London Print Workshop, moving to bigger premises, developing the facilities, (including digital resources to complement the printmaking) and set up a gallery space.
Quote from John Phillips about Paddington Printshop in Kenna et al (1986: 21): ' Most of the work within this resource was focused around the needs of organised groups, sometimes agitational, sometimes celebratory. Inevitably very few of the groups requiring publicity had much experience in communicating ideas graphically. our initial job was to disentangle a number of ideas. prioritise the information which they needed to communicate, and then to decide on an appropriate form and medium to express them. This having been done, the execution of the design work would be carried out either by a small team consisting of members of the user group working under the guidance of a Printshop worker or Printshop staff working under the guidance of the user group. Whatever the scenario the overriding principles remained the same. we aimed to achieve effective graphic forms, which communicate identifiable ideas in the most efficient way possible. Anything short of this would have undervalued the available facilities and squandered the limited resources of the groups using our services. many of the poster images became symbols which enhanced the identity and stature of the groups. many of these posters remained in circulation a long time after the initial event or cause which they were publicising passed. they became reference points through which new struggles and events were organised and new images created.
Working over such a long period it is inevitable that circumstances have changed and that the Printshop has adapted its working practice. Sometimes this has been easy, sometimes it has been painful. Today we work democratically, but we are no longer a collective. We no longer run an open door resource. Yet the group remains committed to the same underlying principles; to participate in the creation of artworks which are socialist in outlook, which are challenging, accessible, vibrant, and which are made to a high professional standard.' John Phillips
- Kenna, Carol; Medcalf,Lyn; Walker, Rick. (1986) Printing is Easy…? Community Printshops 1970 - 1986. Greenwich Mural Workshop pp20-21