Margaret and Fred Lock

Locks' Press was founded in 1979. Since then it has printed eleven books, fifteen pamphlets and twenty broadsides. The editions are small, thirty to eighty copies, formerly printed on an Eickhoff proofing press, now on a Vandercook. The press prints mainly illustrated editions of unusual but enduring texts, ranging from classical Greece to the early twentieth century. Fred Lock is the editor and has provided translations for about a third of the titles (from Greek, Latin, Middle English, Provençal and German). Margaret Lock does the woodcut illustrations, design, typesetting, printing and binding.

The character of the press is conservative and scholarly. The typographic design is based on the careful, considerate, understated book design of Giovanni Mardersteig, Stanley Morison and Jan Tschichold. The type is usually 18-point Bembo or Baskerville, printed on hand-made paper. The texts are presented in their original spelling and punctuation. Some of the authors are well known: Shakespeare, Swift, Johnson, Austen, Tolstoy. Others are a more idiosyncratic choice: St Jerome, William of Poitiers, Justus Lipsius and Thomas Love Peacock. Many of the texts have an underlying serious moral. The presentation is enlivened by the illustrations and occasionally a purpose-made decorative cover paper or cloth. The woodcuts are usually in black and white. Simple, strong, sometimes slightly comic, they encourage the reader to reconsider the text, and remember its message.

The press is a part-time activity. Fred is a professor of English at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. He has just finished writing a biography of Edmund Burke. Margaret is a printmaker. She occasionally writes about the history of bookbinding.

The Devil's Artisan would like to acknowledge the generous financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.


Margaret and Fred Lock