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Re: My Type Got Fat! What Happened?

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  • bielerpr
    Nathan This is true, but usually a plate made with an accidentally flipped negative will reveal it s problems quite vividly. Only other thing I can think of is
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 10, 2010
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      Nathan

      This is true, but usually a plate made with an accidentally flipped negative will reveal it's problems quite vividly. Only other thing I can think of is are these the printer's plates or did Jonathan supply them? Supplied plates are usually a disaster, in fact, they are always a disaster. They have been handled and stored, shipped or delivered, in whatever conditions... Also, if the printer's plates were aged or he/she used the wrong stock, yeah, maybe. But usually the result is much more vivid that just uniformly thickened type.

      Gerald
      http://BielerPress.blogspot.com



      --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Belle & Whistle Letterpress" <bwletterpress@...> wrote:
      >
      > Jonathan,
      >
      > I also understand that if the negative is used with the emulsion side face
      > up, rather than face down on the plate being exposed, can have a widening
      > effect on the hardened plate. Basically because some light can creep from
      > side to side in the thin layer of the negative film, thus exposing a greater
      > area than intended. I wouldn't think that someone who is familiar with
      > plate making would make that mistake and the chances of trying twice and
      > getting the same mistake is even slimmer. Did they use the same negative
      > for each plate? It is possible that a similar error was made during the
      > actual negative creation, then that would explain why you are getting this
      > result even if using the negative correctly.
      >
      > Nathan
      >
      > On Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 6:08 PM, Gerald Lange <Bieler@...> wrote:
      >
      > >
      > >
      > > Jonathan
      > >
      > > A problem that I see from your description is that you used "High Quality
      > > Print" rather than "Press Quality" for the PDF. The former is for your laser
      > > printer, the latter for imagesetters. That configuration could have lowered
      > > your DPI and cause the constrasts in the letterfoms to lessen and the
      > > letterforms to perceptively thicken. What type of negative were you using?
      > > You can also send EPS files in lieu of the PDF. Both of these eliminate the
      > > need to outline type (which adds to the thickness). If the thickening of the
      > > letterforms was uniform throughout, likely there is nothing wrong with the
      > > plate itself. While incorrect exposure itself can have this effect, it is
      > > generally quite minimal. Differing exposure rates have far greater effect on
      > > the relief than on the surface imaging. Faulty vacuum could also cause
      > > thickening but it tends to be all over the place and not uniform.
      > >
      > > An alternative to the thickening of letterforms is to modify the font with
      > > font-editing software such as Fontographer or FontLabStudio. I routine do
      > > that and it gives you a great deal more control over the output. Basically,
      > > the idea is not to change the font but to enable it to perform as it should
      > > look, despite the letterpress gain.
      > >
      > > Gerald
      > > http://BielerPress.blogspot.com
      > >
      > >
      > > On 2/10/10 2:07 PM, jonagold1 wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi all,
      > >
      > > I'm wondering if anyone can help with a problem that arose with the
      > > weight of my type when I had a plate made. I'm working on a book to be
      > > printed on my Albion handpress.
      > >
      > > I have the text of the book laid out in InDesign, and I had a local
      > > letterpress printer make a plate (metal-backed, for a PatMag base) of a
      > > single two-page spread so I could play around with some proofs on the
      > > Albion. I output the spread as a "high quality print" PDF file and the plate
      > > was made from this file. The type was *not* outlined in InDesign.
      > >
      > > When I received the plate, I discovered that the weight of the type was *
      > > much* thicker than what I was wanting and expecting based upon the design
      > > of the typeface and the look of the type both on the screen and in inkjet
      > > and laser prints. I of course know that letterpress/handpress printing will
      > > look different than inkjet/laser printing, but this was way beyond reason;
      > > the type had become like a boldface in comparison, and is unusable. This
      > > thickening was visible in under-inked proofs from both my press and one of
      > > the platemaker's letterpress machines, and in looking at the plate itself.
      > >
      > > The printer, who is not in the business of making plates for others but
      > > only for their own work (mainly letterhead-style work, not book work), tried
      > > a second plate and got the same result.
      > >
      > > So my question is, can this thickening of the type be avoided? Can
      > > someone who is in the business of making plates do a better job, and what
      > > would be needed to make sure? I'm planning to use acrylic/plastic-backed
      > > plates for the actual printing, if that makes a difference.
      > >
      > > Many thanks,
      > >
      > > Jonathan Finegold
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
    • jonagold1
      Thanks everyone for all of your input on my fat type question. The responses were quite varied: some suggested that the issue could be a platemaking issue:
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 12, 2010
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        Thanks everyone for all of your input on my fat type question.

        The responses were quite varied: some suggested that the issue could be a platemaking issue: that the plates were overexposed; or that the film was not sealed to the plate properly; or that the film might have been used the wrong side up; or that old plate stock was used.

        Others thought the problem was in the PDF file that I created: that the wrong preset was used in making the PDF (I used "High Quality Print," should have used "Press Quality"); that the type should have been outlined to be properly embedded in the PDF; that type does NOT need to be, and should not be, outlined to be properly embedded in the PDF, so long as it is a "proper" font which allows for embedding (whatever that means).

        Helpful suggestions were also made about using Fontographer or FontLabStudio to tinker with the font to get the result I need. (It is I suppose possible that the plate I got is simply how the font translates to plate, and that the look that I'm expecting based upon how the font looks on the screen and on inkjet proofs can only be achieved on a plate by modifying the font.)

        I think I can safely eliminate the "old plate stock" possibility; but my comparison of the negative to the proofs and the plate is inconclusive, as the negative to my (untrained) eye seems right between what I expected and what I got.

        At this point, I'm going to do some more research into InDesign and PDF files, and ask around some more, and have a few more trial plates made. I imagine I'll get to the bottom of it at some point, with any luck sooner than later.

        Jonathan

        --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "bielerpr" <Bieler@...> wrote:
        >
        > Nathan
        >
        > This is true, but usually a plate made with an accidentally flipped negative will reveal it's problems quite vividly. Only other thing I can think of is are these the printer's plates or did Jonathan supply them? Supplied plates are usually a disaster, in fact, they are always a disaster. They have been handled and stored, shipped or delivered, in whatever conditions... Also, if the printer's plates were aged or he/she used the wrong stock, yeah, maybe. But usually the result is much more vivid that just uniformly thickened type.
        >
        > Gerald
        > http://BielerPress.blogspot.com
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Belle & Whistle Letterpress" <bwletterpress@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Jonathan,
        > >
        > > I also understand that if the negative is used with the emulsion side face
        > > up, rather than face down on the plate being exposed, can have a widening
        > > effect on the hardened plate. Basically because some light can creep from
        > > side to side in the thin layer of the negative film, thus exposing a greater
        > > area than intended. I wouldn't think that someone who is familiar with
        > > plate making would make that mistake and the chances of trying twice and
        > > getting the same mistake is even slimmer. Did they use the same negative
        > > for each plate? It is possible that a similar error was made during the
        > > actual negative creation, then that would explain why you are getting this
        > > result even if using the negative correctly.
        > >
        > > Nathan
        > >
        > > On Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 6:08 PM, Gerald Lange <Bieler@> wrote:
        > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Jonathan
        > > >
        > > > A problem that I see from your description is that you used "High Quality
        > > > Print" rather than "Press Quality" for the PDF. The former is for your laser
        > > > printer, the latter for imagesetters. That configuration could have lowered
        > > > your DPI and cause the constrasts in the letterfoms to lessen and the
        > > > letterforms to perceptively thicken. What type of negative were you using?
        > > > You can also send EPS files in lieu of the PDF. Both of these eliminate the
        > > > need to outline type (which adds to the thickness). If the thickening of the
        > > > letterforms was uniform throughout, likely there is nothing wrong with the
        > > > plate itself. While incorrect exposure itself can have this effect, it is
        > > > generally quite minimal. Differing exposure rates have far greater effect on
        > > > the relief than on the surface imaging. Faulty vacuum could also cause
        > > > thickening but it tends to be all over the place and not uniform.
        > > >
        > > > An alternative to the thickening of letterforms is to modify the font with
        > > > font-editing software such as Fontographer or FontLabStudio. I routine do
        > > > that and it gives you a great deal more control over the output. Basically,
        > > > the idea is not to change the font but to enable it to perform as it should
        > > > look, despite the letterpress gain.
        > > >
        > > > Gerald
        > > > http://BielerPress.blogspot.com
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > On 2/10/10 2:07 PM, jonagold1 wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Hi all,
        > > >
        > > > I'm wondering if anyone can help with a problem that arose with the
        > > > weight of my type when I had a plate made. I'm working on a book to be
        > > > printed on my Albion handpress.
        > > >
        > > > I have the text of the book laid out in InDesign, and I had a local
        > > > letterpress printer make a plate (metal-backed, for a PatMag base) of a
        > > > single two-page spread so I could play around with some proofs on the
        > > > Albion. I output the spread as a "high quality print" PDF file and the plate
        > > > was made from this file. The type was *not* outlined in InDesign.
        > > >
        > > > When I received the plate, I discovered that the weight of the type was *
        > > > much* thicker than what I was wanting and expecting based upon the design
        > > > of the typeface and the look of the type both on the screen and in inkjet
        > > > and laser prints. I of course know that letterpress/handpress printing will
        > > > look different than inkjet/laser printing, but this was way beyond reason;
        > > > the type had become like a boldface in comparison, and is unusable. This
        > > > thickening was visible in under-inked proofs from both my press and one of
        > > > the platemaker's letterpress machines, and in looking at the plate itself.
        > > >
        > > > The printer, who is not in the business of making plates for others but
        > > > only for their own work (mainly letterhead-style work, not book work), tried
        > > > a second plate and got the same result.
        > > >
        > > > So my question is, can this thickening of the type be avoided? Can
        > > > someone who is in the business of making plates do a better job, and what
        > > > would be needed to make sure? I'm planning to use acrylic/plastic-backed
        > > > plates for the actual printing, if that makes a difference.
        > > >
        > > > Many thanks,
        > > >
        > > > Jonathan Finegold
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
      • Dan Selzer
        Type does not need to be outlined to be embedded in a PDF. Outlining very small type does often fatten things up a tiny bit. The only reason to outline type
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 12, 2010
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          Type does not need to be outlined to be embedded in a PDF. Outlining very small type does often "fatten" things up a tiny bit. The only reason to outline type is for the security of avoiding later problems if there are font issues, but if you think outlining may cause the issue, avoid it.

          Are there any trapping settings? Is this type on a color background before separating for film? Turn on "overprint preview" in Acrobat and see if the type changes. 

          High Quality print vs. Press Quality should not make a difference. High Quality print does not lower your resolution, it actually has the same exact compression settings as Press Quality. In Adobe's view, High Quality Print isn't just for crappy desktop printers, but high-quality inkjets and proofers that would require resolution as good or better than the Press Quality, like giclee printing. Far as I can tell the only difference between the two settings is that High Quality has no effect on the color, while Press Quality converts some of artwork to a CMYK Swop profile. 

          If you really want to troubleshoot where the problem is, send the same file, or a smaller version, to Boxcar and print that as well. If the results are the same, then there's something to the file. If the results are better, the problem lies with the printmaker's process.

          As far as "properly embedding fonts", some fonts have a sort of copy-protection on them which give errors if you try to collect them or embed them in a file. If InDesign isn't telling you there's a problem when you make the pdf you're probably ok on that front.

          Dan

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