The Society for the Preservation of Letraset Action Transfers

CONTACT US: via Facebook's Action Transfers Page

Links to sections on this page:

What are Letraset Action Transfers?

Letraset were the pioneers of rub-down instant lettering, & had a huge influence on just about every aspect of popular culture.

In 1964 Dai Davies (the original inventor), seeking to expand the market for his Instant Lettering, hired graphic designer & illustrator Patrick Tilley to create a rub-down product for children. The initial result was Busy Bee Instant Picture Packs, followed by the even more successful Instant Picture Panoramas.

So — Action Transfers (initially as "Instant Pictures") were born.

My original interest was the range of Panoramas that appeared in 1965. Letraset (later 'Waddington/Letraset') Panoramas consisted in sheets of rub-down transfers, together with three-foot folded backgrounds on which to apply them. These started with sheets of either black or white transfers, & as the technology developed, spot colours were added until eventually full-colour (CMYKW) printing emerged — which is, of course, how all modern transfers are printed. The transition from one colour to four spot colours took place in 1966; full-colour had arrived by 1968.

Other companies licensed Letraset's technology, including Waddingtons, Patterson Blick, Gillette (as Kalkitos & PrestoMagiX) & many more.

Action Transfers are ephemera, & once they've been used they're effectively rubbish & are usually thrown away. Hardly anybody keeps their old Action Transfers; but on the other hand, if you ever do find a set, it should be cheap despite its rarity. Lots of the 1970s-1980s sets do surface, usually from old unsold shop stock, but relatively few from earlier.

About SPLAT:

Since there were no websites or information available on the web, I contacted other auction bidders for Letraset products with a view to sharing information & generally helping each other out.

As a result, in 2003 the Society for the Preservation of Letraset Action Transfers formed — officially named on 13th October 2004.

Starting with nothing, over the years SPLAT has gathered a wealth of information (& thousands of unused sets).

Many people who worked at Letraset or who created the original transfers have joined, but of course anyone interested is welcome.

How to Join SPLAT:

After years with a private Forum & group emails, we decided the best way for people to keep in touch would be with a combination of personal emails & Facebook messages. We're no longer a closed group — if you like SPLAT enough to get in touch, then you are a member! So…

How to Contact SPLAT or Action Transfers:

Please visit the Facebook Action Transfers page, & send us a message from there.

(If you've attempted to send a contact form message to us before, but haven't had a reply, please try again via Facebook.)

If you don't use Facebook, you could Google "Tom Vinelott", but you'll still likely end up with Facebook as the only option… it's not ideal, but it is unavoidable.


Very many people deserve huge credit for all the help they've provided with this website; thanks to all of them. Individuals are credited where appropriate throughout the site. By choice & tradition, the original members of SPLAT aren't credited… but I'm working on that!

All images that appear on this website are attributed, so if you would like to supply an image, please let us know what you would like your attribution to say. We can even include a link, if appropriate. Many contributors prefer to remain anonymous; that's okay as well!


Useful places to get started on this site:

As for Letraset & Acorn's websites: sadly, they're no longer online, so we can't link to them any more.


(People often ask me what 'FAQ' stands for. GIYF.)

CONTACT US: via Facebook's Action Transfers Page

Picture Credit: The SPLAT Archives