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1433RE: [PPLetterpress] Real Printing

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  • David Goodrich
    Apr 30, 2003
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      The question is whether you love the product or the process. If your goal
      is to produce the highest quality books, PPL is the way to go. I would not
      regret it for a moment. I have only used it on a limited basis but found it
      totally acceptable and equal to any metal plate making process and much more
      practical. I hope to use it more, or would not stay tuned in to this site.
      On the other hand, my real love is type. I love setting it, rearranging it,
      resetting it in another size or font, and seeing how it prints before going
      back to the stone to rearrange further. I particularly love working with
      ancient and obsolete fonts. I guess I am in love with the process, for
      production runs of even a few hundred copies, bore me.
      But ultimately it is the actual printing, the impact of an inked, raised
      surface on paper, that makes the difference, and it doesn't matter how the
      raised surface was created.
      In my role as treasurer of a non-profit foundation, I receive dozens of
      corporate annual reports each spring and the quality of the [offset]
      printing astonishes me. (The cover of one credit card processing company's
      report was letterpress this year.) Even in a bad year like 2002,
      corporations go all out in their annual reports. I could never achieve the
      register for color printing on my hand press or hope to produce work of this
      refinement. Nothing letterpress could produce this quality of color. If I
      were producing an annual report for thousands of stockholders I would do it
      this way too and be proud of it. It is excellent printing. But it is bland
      and easy to toss out. There is no pleasure in reading it. On the other
      hand, a book that has been beautifully printed letterpress is a joy to hold
      as well as read, however it was produced. It is a different kind of
      excellence, and one we can hope to attain.
      So go back to doing what you like doing and produce beautiful things and
      don't worry about how someone else approaches their work.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: caldrich45 [mailto:carolealdrich@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2003 8:43 PM
      To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [PPLetterpress] Real Printing

      A friend of mine gave me a contact to a local letterpress printer. I visited
      today at her shop and came away feeling pretty bad. She does not use
      polymer plates, sets everything by hand or used magnesium or copper dies. I
      felt like somehow I'm cheating although I know that I do not have the space
      for all the fonts and equipment necessary for a "real" print shop. I also
      that the chemicals used in making those magnesium and copper dies are
      extremely toxic to the environment.

      How do others feel about this.

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