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1750Re: offset printing a letterpress design

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  • eroustom
    Jul 17, 2003
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      I'm curiouse if this had to be done on the cheap, with a straight desktop scan... I've got some art school printmaking ideas (as in no
      budget whatsoever) to lend on this question:
      My first suggestion would be to avoid the dot. Don't produce a half tone, but after you edit your (high res. grayscale) scan,
      produce line art (bitmap) - if you get it right, the only thing missing will be the impression. Second consider overprinting different
      proofs (with different densities of coverage) thereby producing a duotone, and adding some depth and complexity to the
      ink/color that is often missing from offset.

      Or find someone with a cylinder press to run the job for real (if I were to do it, I'd make a plate from a scan anyway - I wouldn't
      want to take a chance with clunky old wood type surviving 1000 impressions without the lock-up exploding).

      Good luck.

      Elias Roustom

      --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Mats Broberg" <mats.broberg@a...> wrote:
      > > I have plans to offset print a letterpress design done with wood
      > > type. We'll print it it on a vandercook, then scan the art to create
      > > films. Does anyone have any cautionary advice for the process? Just
      > > wondering...
      > >
      > > All comments welcome.
      > >
      > > Thanks!
      > > Carey Johnson
      > Carey,
      > Jim makes good points about the problem involved in reproducing a
      > letterpress printed item in offset.
      > If you aim for expressing some of the tactile quality of the item, the
      > way to go is probably to work with a professional photographer and spend
      > a few hours in tweaking studio lighting. I recall a project a few years
      > ago when I worked with a photographer to get a good image of a piece of
      > watercolor artwork. At first we tried a traditional reprographic setup
      > of the lights, merely to get a starting point, and the result was not
      > impressive. We had to spend alot of time working with different angles
      > and different types of lightsources to capture some of the
      > three-dimensional qualities of the watercolor. If the goal is a mere
      > facsimile, then it's another matter and a traditional reprographic setup
      > of lighting may work.
      > Your budget may or may not make it possible to work with a photographer,
      > and if it doesn't, you can scan the item on a scanner. However, to get
      > as good a result as possible you may prefer to have it scanned on a drum
      > scanner at a commercial process engraving / prepress company. In the
      > specs, many consumer-grade and semi-professional scanners compare well
      > with high-end equipment, but there are more to it than color depth and
      > resolution. Many times a skilled operator and an old Crosfield Magnascan
      > (which took up half a room) creates results that, still, can be
      > absolutely outstanding.
      > When the time comes to the offset printing of the scan, you may want to
      > contact a printing office who works with waterless offset, or FM screens
      > / hybrid screens. Waterless offset makes it possible to reproduce your
      > image using a finer screen, and FM screens (frequency modulated) and
      > hybrid screens are methods to screen your image that have some
      > advantages over traditional AM screens (amplitude modulated).
      > Good luck and don't hesitate to drop me a line if you have more
      > questions.
      > Best regards,
      > Mats Broberg
      > Stockholm - S
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