1750Re: offset printing a letterpress design
- Jul 17, 2003I'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).
--- 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
> 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
> Best regards,
> Mats Broberg
> Stockholm - S
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