1433RE: [PPLetterpress] Real Printing
- Apr 30, 2003The 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.
From: caldrich45 [mailto:carolealdrich@...]
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2003 8:43 PM
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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