Sarah J Rushton



Sarah studied BA Visual Communication at Birmingham Institute of Art & Design, followed by an MA in Graphic Design & Illustration. After a few years freelancing she settled into a permanent teaching role and is currently course leader for BA Illustration at Staffordshire University.

A passion for printmaking emerged while at art college, however, Sarah didn’t discover letterpress until later in her working life when she acquired a Farley proofing press and some wooden type from a friend of the family, and so discovered the craft and beauty that comes from hand-set movable type. The reinvention of letterpress has since opened up new creative possibilities through the production of illustration-based prints from photopolymer plates. Starting with the hand-drawn on paper, images are fine-tuned on a Macintosh. Print plates are then created from a digital file and individually hand-printed onto cotton and recycled papers using a vintage press.

Inspired by early nineteenth century wood type and engravings Sarah creates illustrated typography featuring a variety of ornamental motifs using playful combinations of type and image. Ampersands have always appealed to her, both in their curvy visual forms and through their ability to convey a distinct meaning within a single character. The visual communicator is often required to combine visual elements and meanings into distinct and economical forms. Ampersands, as an evolved combination of the letters et, sum this up beautifully and so form the basis of her designs.

Sarah Rushton