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Balancing impression and inking

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  • Gerald Lange
    I don t often start a technical message on email but I am seeing a certain problem a lot and thought it might be best to address it and see what other folks
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 29, 2012
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      I don't often start a technical message on email but I am seeing a certain problem a lot and thought it might be best to address it and see what other folks think. This is for 21st century letterpress entries, I guess.

      When starting your presswork use as little ink as possible and as little packing as possible. Slowly work up to find the correct balance for each. They are related. You want crisp, solidly covered imaging with no overflow of ink beyond the original. You adjust the impression and inking to match this.

      If your concern is deep impression, approach it slowly. If you go too far ahead and your inking can't match it you will suffer throughout the print run. If your client wants deep impression and does not care about the inking or distortion of letterform or image, well, that is your situation, and, well, good luck with that.

      I've seen folks damage a photopolymer plate right off the bat simply through starting with the packing too extreme. Slow down. "Low and slow" does it, as they say in some parts of LA.

      Gerald
    • Robin Price
      Gerald s advice here -- to proceed slowly on working up to correct impression and inking -- was one of the most important things I learned from him at USC Fine
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 30, 2012
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        Gerald's advice here -- to proceed slowly on working up to correct impression and inking -- was one of the most important things I learned from him at USC Fine Arts Press. To add (again, learned from Gerald): it's best to *lead* with impression, i.e., only after you've obtained desired impression should you add enough ink to get correct coverage. You'll likely over-ink if you do otherwise. That all-important lupe / magnifying glass on the press feed board (placed out of the way) will definitely speed up your decision-making process on inking, both during start-up and periodically throughout edition. One more direct-from-GL tip which I've kept in the 20-odd years since: establish a *master* sheet for inking for every press run, one that you've deemed darn-near-perfect, set it aside in a nearby spot & mark it as such, and use that as your most reliable *check* for inking throughout the run. It's especially important on long runs, and with color, as your eye might not be sensitive enough to catch a gradual change over time. I grab the master inking sheet every few (5-10) impressions for a quick check, and if I can't decide immediately I grab the lupe.

        I wish I was printing right now!
        Robin
      • Robert E Blesse
        This is essential advice from two master printers. I learned the same thing from my mentor, Ken Carpenter, who taught me to print on our Columbian hand press.
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 30, 2012
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          This is essential advice from two master printers. I learned the same thing from my mentor, Ken Carpenter, who taught me to print on our Columbian hand press. The first thing students new to letterpress printing do when their first sheet comes of the press is look at the inking. They must learn to flip the sheet over and look at the impression first, ignoring the inking, which should always be on the light side. The "master" inking sheet is also essential. When we get our sheet as close to perfection as we can, we lay it down next to the sheets we'll be stacking during printing so we can look back and forth and detect in changes in ink density. It's always amazing to me how quickly students become perfectionists when it comes to inking and impression.

          Bob
          -----------------------------------------
          Robert E. Blesse
          Director, The Black Rock Press
          Department of Art/224
          University of Nevada, Reno
          Reno, NV 89557
          775.682.5630 - office
          775.233.2546 - mobile
          775.784-6655 - fax
          blesse@...<mailto:blesse@...>
          www.blackrockpress.org<http://www.blackrockpress.org/>


          From: Robin Price <rprice@...<mailto:rprice@...>>
          Reply-To: PPLetterpress <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com<mailto:PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>>
          Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 08:15:04 -0800
          To: PPLetterpress <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com<mailto:PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>>
          Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: Balancing impression and inking



          Gerald's advice here -- to proceed slowly on working up to correct impression and inking -- was one of the most important things I learned from him at USC Fine Arts Press. To add (again, learned from Gerald): it's best to *lead* with impression, i.e., only after you've obtained desired impression should you add enough ink to get correct coverage. You'll likely over-ink if you do otherwise. That all-important lupe / magnifying glass on the press feed board (placed out of the way) will definitely speed up your decision-making process on inking, both during start-up and periodically throughout edition. One more direct-from-GL tip which I've kept in the 20-odd years since: establish a *master* sheet for inking for every press run, one that you've deemed darn-near-perfect, set it aside in a nearby spot & mark it as such, and use that as your most reliable *check* for inking throughout the run. It's especially important on long runs, and with color, as your eye might not be sensitive enough to catch a gradual change over time. I grab the master inking sheet every few (5-10) impressions for a quick check, and if I can't decide immediately I grab the lupe.

          I wish I was printing right now!
          Robin

          Robin Price, Printer & Publisher http://www.robinpricepublisher.com/ phone 860-344-8644
          http://www.indiegogo.com/letpress-apprentice?a=1147117 / http://www.facebook.com/LetterpressApprenticeship / Brittany's blog http://letterpressapprentice.tumblr.com
        • Barbara Hauser
          And for those of us with less experience, the concomitant advice is to order way more paper than you think you ll need. Barbara
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 30, 2012
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            And for those of us with less experience, the concomitant advice is to order way more paper than you think you'll need.

            Barbara

            --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Gerald Lange" <Bieler@...> wrote:
            >
            > I don't often start a technical message on email but I am seeing a certain problem a lot and thought it might be best to address it and see what other folks think. This is for 21st century letterpress entries, I guess.
            >
            > When starting your presswork use as little ink as possible and as little packing as possible. Slowly work up to find the correct balance for each. They are related. You want crisp, solidly covered imaging with no overflow of ink beyond the original. You adjust the impression and inking to match this.
            >
            > If your concern is deep impression, approach it slowly. If you go too far ahead and your inking can't match it you will suffer throughout the print run. If your client wants deep impression and does not care about the inking or distortion of letterform or image, well, that is your situation, and, well, good luck with that.
            >
            > I've seen folks damage a photopolymer plate right off the bat simply through starting with the packing too extreme. Slow down. "Low and slow" does it, as they say in some parts of LA.
            >
            > Gerald
            >
          • Silber MaiK├Ątzchen
            Unless the sheet requested by the customer is so unique to the job that I might not be able to sell it to another customer, and I am not certain that the
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 30, 2012
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              Unless the sheet requested by the customer is so
              unique to the job that I might not be able to sell it
              to another customer, and I am not certain that the
              customer will not use it again; I order the next full
              carton quantity. If there is less than a 20% difference
              between a full carton and the quantity for the job,
              I order an extra carton.

              Sometimes this policy results in a way overage of
              a never to be used stock again. Anyone in the market
              for 700 sheets of pink, 950 sheets of yellow and 875
              sheets of 28x44" 12 point Crystalon Cover ordered for
              a lost greeting card client? The owner died and her
              daughter closed the company. She wanted me to
              buy back the stock of cards I had printed for her
              mom -- AT RETAIL!!! Some people!

              MaiK├Ątzchen
               
              Dum loquimur, fugerit invida Aetas:
              Carpe diem!
              quam minimum credula postero!

              Horace
              Odes Book I



              From: Barbara Hauser <BarbHauser@...>
              To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Fri, November 30, 2012 10:44:01 AM
              Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: Balancing impression and inking



              And for those of us with less experience, the concomitant advice is to order way more paper than you think you'll need.

              Barbara

              --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Gerald Lange" <Bieler@...> wrote:
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.