History

Leeds Postcards is an independent small postcard press.

The idea started in 1979 – inspired by the German political postcards published by Klaus Staeck. Postcards as a political tool and agent for change! These oppositional, inspiring images were too small to need permission and could be put on display sent and shared eg. at school and in the workplace.

We were independently distributed to independent bookshops and other radical outlets as well as on sale at festivals, protests and political gatherings. Oppositional activism was very strong and in the eighties and we attracted exciting new political and cultural artists like Steve Bell, Peter Kennard, Ray Lowry, Angela Martin and Jacky Fleming. After all Thatcher was in power – Mandela was in prison, feminism hardly got a look in let alone environmental issues. (In the mid eighties we were publishing our cards on recycled stock with soya based ink!).

There was no capital behind Leeds Postcards we were a niche market that stood and fell by our sales. Surely capitalism can support oppositional art and anti-capitalism? Well only with a great deal of love luck sacrifice and idealism. Most cards don’t make enough to pay for their production, cushioned by the softer blockbusters that sell in their thousands, loyal customers and subscribers.

We became a co-operative in ’86 but in the nineties, when many radical businesses and bookshops went bust, we were stuck in the financial red – not a good place. The Co-operative folded, I bought core stock, paid off the debts recycled tons and with hope and optimism have run it from home since 1997 where by keeping overheads very low I can keep the imprint going in the black. And keeping the independent voice alive…..with the latest cards like Dot to Dot Cameron, Zora Neale Hurston and LOL-free zone!

Don’t forget to send any ideas art or inspiration for new cards and if you are involved in a campaign and would like a postcard to raise funds and awareness please get in touch. New cards, new interests are Leeds Postcards life blood – no two are the same. Keep it real. ”

Here are some of the outlets, artists, authors,campaigns etc who have links to Leeds Postcards on their websites – all fascinating. In no particular order .www.ethicalsuperstore.com ..www.iwm.org.uk….. ..www.griinucompare.co.uk …www.radishweb.co.uk ..www.greengeneration.co.uk www.biggreenshop.co.uk……. www.roystpierre.com www.babymilkaction.org www.hazardscampaign.org.uk .www.docspopuli.org ……www.nfpb.gn.apc.org …..www.woodcraft.org.uk …..www.anyoldicon.com….. www.wcml.org.uk ………www.susanmullally.com…… …www.britishcouncil.org/arts-design-upfrontandpersonal-hometruths.htm

One response to “History

  1. Dave Hansell

    Dear Colleagues,

    I’m trying to locate an old postcard which I recollect was printed by Leeds Postcards in the 1980’s. It featured a scene of a small group of revolutionaries meeting around a table in pub/bar. One of them was asking a question, in a speech bubble, something along the lines of:

    “Comrades how do we destroy the capitalist system?”

    An adjacent comrade had a thought bubble which siad:

    “Vote Tory”.

    I cannot find this anywhere on the web or on your own store. Does anyone remember it?

    Thanks.

    Dave Hansell
    30 Ralph Ellis Drive
    Stocksbridge
    Sheffield
    S36 1Ew
    Tel: 0114 288 4987
    email: chash@btinternet.com

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