1440Re: [PPLetterpress] Real Printing
- May 1, 2003My first hand setting of type dates back to the mid-50s on the Canyon
Courier in Evergreen, Colo., but I recently achieved my goal of having some
of all of the hot metal machines--Ludow, Linotype, Monotype--and yet we make
photopolymer plates almost every day. This morning's work includes a set of
plates for a fellow who prints decals for model railroaders which are done
on a Vandercook Universal I that was made to his specifications in the 60s.
His railroad type is all custom created on a computer and cannot be
duplicated in metal type.
I have also worked in a "real" letterpress production shop where massive
amounts of letterpress work was done on a regular basis to very tight
schedules. What ever produced the end result desired by the customer was
fair game. It ran from hand set type to the earliest photopolymer plates
(Dycril) to chrome plated electros, and often combined offset. An example
would have been the catalog for a junior college we did in 3 weeks--4-color
offset cover, about 430 pages of 8 pt Linotype, about 15 halftones, 20,000
copies, all chapter heads hand set, and perfect bound. This was done on
several presses including Miehle flatbeds and Heidelberg cylinders. And not
too many blocks away was where the Grabhorns once produced their exquisite
letterpress books and commercial printing. Thus a discussion or debate of
what is "real" in terms of letterpress has to cover all the aspects of the
trade--no one part is any more real than another in my opinion and
Fritz Klinke, NA Graphics
1314 Greene Street, P.O. Box 467
Silverton, Colorado 81433 USA
970-387-0212, fax 970-387-0127
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Fraterdeus" <peterf@...>
Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2003 8:38 AM
Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Real Printing
The proof's in the pudding ;-)
I've yet to prefer hot metal badly arranged to cold well designed.
However, particularly for display, there's no substitution for the instant f
eedback that metal foundry type allows. To pull a proof, switch a copper
hair-space from one side of a letter to the other, pull the proof again...
The computer, with the no-rules philosophy, allows the creation of work
which has no guts, no bones, no spirit. Even badly set linotype and foundry
has some honesty about it.
(For the record, I designed my first digital typeface in 1985 and was
working in letterpress a few years before that.)
Gutenberg's critics didn't really care about the 'beauty' of 'calligraphy'.
They were more concerned about their own jobs, and that his press could put
1000 of them out of work with a single book!
At 9:11 AM -0400 2003-05-01, Mike Gastin wrote:
>I read that same article and thought the guy was a dope. But, I thought
>about it ...
>He was originally an ad agency guy and left the biz to start his little
>press. I think he makes a big noise about real vs. plastic in an effort to
>impress his ad community friends who supply him with work. I think he is
>providing a kind of snob appeal to impress (no pun intended!) his
>customers - the agencies.
>I do not agree with his attitude about polymer. I think the question was
>asked in a previous post - what did some folk thing of Gutenberg and his
>mechanical type verses the "beauty" of hand lettering?
>I think polymer is an awesome tool to allow a printer accomplish something
>that is unreasonable with the supply of metal type these days. Progress
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Bryan Hutcheson" <bryan@...>
>Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2003 2:13 AM
>Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Real Printing
>Beware of someone who claims they can define what is, or is not, real.
>was an article about a letterpress printer in a recent issue of Print. The
>featured printer was taking this holier than thou attitude about
>letterpress...claiming his work wasn't "plastic". He may not have been usin
>polymer, but he sure in the hell was pretentious. His claims that his
>printing was "real" was about as fake as it gets...
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Peter Fraterdeus http://www.midsummernightstamps.com
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