What is a
Graphic Workman?

The Workman men. Edwin (back row), Reggie, Jack & William

William Workman was my maternal Grandfather, he was a London based printer, draughtsman and founder of 'W S Workman & Co' (c.1976).

In the early 2000s after he had passed away, my Granny, Beryl, offered me the family business. What an exciting opportunity… except at the age of 21 and in typical young person style – I declined. As far as I understood Grandad just printed the church magazine and produced die cut cards. As a graduate of the London College of Communication, 'Workman & Co' just wasn’t the ‘serious graphic design’ business for me.

With experience (and age) I later discovered everything Grandad produced was made with GFSmith stock and actually rather beautiful. 

Move forward a few years (2009) – following an MA at Central Saint Martins and almost a decade working in design studios in London I decided to add a ‘name’ to my workmanship – something to stand behind and help me be more objective. I finally started to research what my grandparents had achieved in print throughout their careers. Beryl had – at a similar age to the age I now was – founded the business Miracle Posters in 1972, a screen printing outfit in Kentish Town, North London.

William was a draughtsman for Waring and Gillow on Oxford Street and had attended evening classes at the Royal College of Art. Later he had worked alongside his brother, Jack, in the 1950s as printers. With a print works under Blackfriars Bridge they printed books, business stationary, fliers and brochures.

'Workman & Co' was much more than I had ever imagined. My grandparents had always described them selves as ‘arm-chair printers’ – they where humble – but highly skilled and creative in spirit. I wanted to keep their legacy going and pay homage to the businesses that they had worked tirelessly to grow and sustain.

Graphic Workman came from the merging of our two generations, it’s not just a name to grab your attention – or help you to remember a website address. It’s a history, a lifetime of skills, a song to crafts lost and time spent well.

And always humble – we make work because that’s what we do and we do it in the knowledge that we are contributing to a history that still resonates.

Beryl Workman

David. Grandson of William and Beryl

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.