Inspired by the venerable tradition of private presses in England, the Rampant Lions Press was a small publisher of fine editions and a designer-printer for other publishers.
With very few exceptions, they designed every book that came out of the workshop.
They printed all books by letterpress, mostly on hand or mould-made papers.
They specialised in elegant, but colourful typography, and made inventive use of a small repertoire of exceptional metal typefaces, including several designed by Hermann Zapf and the Golden Cockerel Roman designed by Eric Gill.
Will Carter founded the Rampant Lions Press in 1924, at the age of twelve.
He moved to Cambridge in 1934, published the first book in 1936, and turned the Press into a full time business in 1948.
His son Sebastian joined him in the 1960s and closed the Press in 2008.
His masterpiece was probably William Morris’s The Story of Cupid and Psyche in 1974, set in Morris’s types and illustrated with the blocks engraved by Morris from Burne-Jones’s designs.
Carter printed the book jointly with his son Sebastian, who joined the press in 1966.
In 2013, Sebastian received the American Printing History Association individual laureate award for ‘a distinguished contribution to the study, recording, preservation or dissemination of printing history’.