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Real Printing

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  • caldrich45
    A friend of mine gave me a contact to a local letterpress printer. I visited her today at her shop and came away feeling pretty bad. She does not use polymer
    Message 1 of 26 , Apr 30, 2003
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      A friend of mine gave me a contact to a local letterpress printer. I visited her
      today at her shop and came away feeling pretty bad. She does not use
      polymer plates, sets everything by hand or used magnesium or copper dies. I
      felt like somehow I'm cheating although I know that I do not have the space
      for all the fonts and equipment necessary for a "real" print shop. I also know
      that the chemicals used in making those magnesium and copper dies are
      extremely toxic to the environment.

      How do others feel about this.
    • L.A. Book Arts, Inc
      Don t feel bad - I do both: set type by hand, make woodcuts - but also use a plate maker. just finished a 2 color run of 100 Books, 9 spreads 18 forms black
      Message 2 of 26 , Apr 30, 2003
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        Don't feel bad - I do both:

        set type by hand, make woodcuts - but also use a plate maker.
        just finished a 2 color run of 100 Books, 9 spreads 18 forms black and
        18 forms (frame and dingbat0 in a muted green on zerkall laid.
        Typesetting and dies made would hat put the job at 5 grand just for
        that alone.
        Plate with film was a 1/4 of that.

        Back in Germany i had some 60 tons of Lead on the floor, now i have 5
        cd's and can match all the type in the world to a certain degree.
        As much as I love the old days -I don't miss them.
        If you print a cute little piece of stationary -you need very little
        type.
        You go into series bookwork, it becomes endless.
        Polymerplate is just what it stands for -Letterpress.
        If you haven't bought it cheap, robbed it or inherited it, type is
        worth it's weight in gold now.
        Polymerplate gives you all the type you need.

        charles
        On Wednesday, Apr 30, 2003, at 17:43 US/Pacific, caldrich45 wrote:

        > A friend of mine gave me a contact to a local letterpress printer. I
        > visited her
        > today at her shop and came away feeling pretty bad. She does not use
        > polymer plates, sets everything by hand or used magnesium or copper
        > dies. I
        > felt like somehow I'm cheating although I know that I do not have the
        > space
        > for all the fonts and equipment necessary for a "real" print shop. I
        > also know
        > that the chemicals used in making those magnesium and copper dies are
        > extremely toxic to the environment.
        >
        > How do others feel about this.
        >
        >
        <image.tiff>
        >
        >
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      • Phillip Driscoll
        Since you posted this on the Photopolymer discussion list, you know you will receive lots of support. It might be more interesting to see the responses on the
        Message 3 of 26 , Apr 30, 2003
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          Since you posted this on the Photopolymer discussion list,
          you know you will receive lots of support. It might be more
          interesting to see the responses on the general letterpress
          discussion list.

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "caldrich45" <carolealdrich@...>
          To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2003 8:43 PM
          Subject: [PPLetterpress] Real Printing


          A friend of mine gave me a contact to a local letterpress printer. I visited
          her
          today at her shop and came away feeling pretty bad. She does not use
          polymer plates, sets everything by hand or used magnesium or copper dies. I
          felt like somehow I'm cheating although I know that I do not have the space
          for all the fonts and equipment necessary for a "real" print shop. I also
          know
          that the chemicals used in making those magnesium and copper dies are
          extremely toxic to the environment.

          How do others feel about this.
        • Carole Aldrich
          True, but the folks here aren t exactly lightweights in the letterpress world. Seems like there might be two camps here. The old style group who eschews
          Message 4 of 26 , Apr 30, 2003
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            True, but the folks here aren't exactly lightweights in the
            letterpress world. Seems like there might be two camps here. The old
            style group who eschews anything new and those who realize that there
            is a marriage of old and new technology that can benefit all. The
            photopolymer certainly opens worlds to those of us who do not have
            mega square feet of space to devote to our printing hobby or
            vocation, or those of us who love the tactile quality of the old
            printing technology married to the flexiblity an ease of the new
            technology.

            Yes, you are right that I posted here to get affirmation. When
            phototypesetting became commonplace in the graphics world, there were
            those who thought it was not up to the quality of the old ways. Now,
            when I look at metal type and contrast that with the finesse of
            kerning and spacing that I have with my computer type, I feel really
            restricted by using metal type. Even if the font spacing is not well
            designed, you always have the option of hand kerning or even altering
            the kerning tables in the font. Or, yet again, as many of the members
            here have posted, altering the font itself to adjust to the demands
            of letterpress.

            I'm sure even Gutenberg was considered a pariah by some, since his
            type was mechanical and lacked the finesse of hand calligraphy. What
            his technology did was to bring books to the masses. This was not an
            improvement considered to be an art form, but rather a very practical
            way to reproduce written material to reach a broader audience.
            --
            Carole M Aldrich
            Voice 909.625.7722
            Fax 909.625.9822
            carolealdrich@...

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • David Goodrich
            The question is whether you love the product or the process. If your goal is to produce the highest quality books, PPL is the way to go. I would not regret
            Message 5 of 26 , Apr 30, 2003
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              The question is whether you love the product or the process. If your goal
              is to produce the highest quality books, PPL is the way to go. I would not
              regret it for a moment. I have only used it on a limited basis but found it
              totally acceptable and equal to any metal plate making process and much more
              practical. I hope to use it more, or would not stay tuned in to this site.
              On the other hand, my real love is type. I love setting it, rearranging it,
              resetting it in another size or font, and seeing how it prints before going
              back to the stone to rearrange further. I particularly love working with
              ancient and obsolete fonts. I guess I am in love with the process, for
              production runs of even a few hundred copies, bore me.
              But ultimately it is the actual printing, the impact of an inked, raised
              surface on paper, that makes the difference, and it doesn't matter how the
              raised surface was created.
              In my role as treasurer of a non-profit foundation, I receive dozens of
              corporate annual reports each spring and the quality of the [offset]
              printing astonishes me. (The cover of one credit card processing company's
              report was letterpress this year.) Even in a bad year like 2002,
              corporations go all out in their annual reports. I could never achieve the
              register for color printing on my hand press or hope to produce work of this
              refinement. Nothing letterpress could produce this quality of color. If I
              were producing an annual report for thousands of stockholders I would do it
              this way too and be proud of it. It is excellent printing. But it is bland
              and easy to toss out. There is no pleasure in reading it. On the other
              hand, a book that has been beautifully printed letterpress is a joy to hold
              as well as read, however it was produced. It is a different kind of
              excellence, and one we can hope to attain.
              So go back to doing what you like doing and produce beautiful things and
              don't worry about how someone else approaches their work.

              David.



              -----Original Message-----
              From: caldrich45 [mailto:carolealdrich@...]
              Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2003 8:43 PM
              To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [PPLetterpress] Real Printing


              A friend of mine gave me a contact to a local letterpress printer. I visited
              her
              today at her shop and came away feeling pretty bad. She does not use
              polymer plates, sets everything by hand or used magnesium or copper dies. I
              felt like somehow I'm cheating although I know that I do not have the space
              for all the fonts and equipment necessary for a "real" print shop. I also
              know
              that the chemicals used in making those magnesium and copper dies are
              extremely toxic to the environment.

              How do others feel about this.



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            • Bryan Hutcheson
              Beware of someone who claims they can define what is, or is not, real. There was an article about a letterpress printer in a recent issue of Print. The
              Message 6 of 26 , Apr 30, 2003
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                Beware of someone who claims they can define what is, or is not, real. There
                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 wasn¹t ³plastic². He may not have been using
                polymer, but he sure in the hell was pretentious. His claims that his
                printing was ³real² was about as fake as it gets...


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Katie Harper
                This discussion of what is or is not real or true or whatever when it comes to printing reminds me of a discussion I had years ago with Peter Kruty about the
                Message 7 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                  This discussion of what is or is not "real" or true or whatever when it
                  comes to printing reminds me of a discussion I had years ago with Peter
                  Kruty about the pros and cons of handset metal v. Linotype v. Monotype v.
                  Polymer. Scholars, enthusiasts, graphic designers and printers of all
                  stripes have weighed into this issue. Peter's point was that there are good
                  features and not so good features about each of these ways of setting type,
                  and it all depends on what the particular typography job requires (including
                  aesthetically, as well as what is available and what the budget will allow,
                  etc.) It's the kind of thing that will be argued for generations, and this
                  is all to the good. It keeps us all awake and aware of the notion that God
                  (or the devil) is in the details.

                  The mention of Gutenberg and how he was chastised because his text didn't
                  look calligraphic is an important thought. At each technological shift, the
                  new way is almost always vilified because while it might make the process
                  easier, faster, cheaper, it shifts from the old ways and there will always
                  be those who prefer the latter. And in many cases the technological shift
                  does represent a compromise in quality of one kind or another. But if you
                  look back over the history of printing, there are pros with these shifts as
                  well as cons. They often make the process much easier and faster and more
                  cost effective, thus allowing more printers to make a profit and stay in
                  business, and also allowing more printed communications to get the message
                  into the hands of more and more people. Again, whether this is good or bad,
                  or if good, is worth the compromise in quality, is the kind of thing you
                  could argue about for hours over several adult beverages...

                  I guess my take on it is this: all these things are tools in our toolbox.
                  The more tools we have, the more choices we have so that we can satisfy both
                  aesthetic and practical considerations. I frankly prefer to stay open to all
                  possibilities and the various quirks of each process because I think the
                  subtle differences in each process increase the potential for powerful
                  communication.



                  Katie Harper
                  Ars Brevis Press
                  Cincinnati, OH
                  513-233-9588
                  http://www.arsbrevispress.com
                • The Indian Hill Press
                  I must put in my two cents here and correct a misimpression that ... While it s true that rare, sought-after typefaces in foundry type can be hard to find and
                  Message 8 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                    I must put in my two cents here and correct a misimpression that
                    seems to be spreading. Charles wrote:

                    >If you haven't bought it cheap, robbed it or inherited it, type is
                    >worth it's weight in gold now.
                    >Polymerplate gives you all the type you need.

                    While it's true that rare, sought-after typefaces in foundry type can
                    be hard to find and expensive, there is a vast wasteland of perfectly
                    functional or near-functional Linotypes and Ludlows going begging.
                    With one of these machines, and a modest library of matrices, you
                    could spend the rest of your life printing from virgin metal type and
                    be happy as a pig in mud.

                    Yes, Linotypes and Ludlows (and ALL casters) imposed mechanical
                    restrictions on type design that computers have since transcended.
                    However, both Ludlow and Linotype hired the best typographers of
                    their time to design faces that worked well with their machines. It's
                    a joy to make and print from type as they originally conceived it.
                    Even when these typefaces are digitized, they rarely survive intact.
                    Lost are many wonderful swashes, ligatures and tied characters.

                    Having said that, let me add that I print from polymer every day and
                    wouldn't give it up for the world.

                    Dan Waters
                    Indian Hill Press
                  • Mike Gastin
                    Bryan, I read that same article and thought the guy was a dope. But, I thought more about it ... He was originally an ad agency guy and left the biz to start
                    Message 9 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                      Bryan,

                      I read that same article and thought the guy was a dope. But, I thought more
                      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 ....

                      Mike


                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Bryan Hutcheson" <bryan@...>
                      To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
                      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. There
                      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 wasn¹t ³plastic². He may not have been using
                      polymer, but he sure in the hell was pretentious. His claims that his
                      printing was ³real² was about as fake as it gets...


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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                    • Peter Fraterdeus
                      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
                      Message 10 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                        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 feedback 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!


                        Ciao
                        Peter



                        At 9:11 AM -0400 2003-05-01, Mike Gastin wrote:
                        >Bryan,
                        >
                        >I read that same article and thought the guy was a dope. But, I thought more
                        >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 ....
                        >
                        >Mike
                        >
                        >
                        >----- Original Message -----
                        >From: "Bryan Hutcheson" <bryan@...>
                        >To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
                        >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. There
                        >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 using
                        >polymer, but he sure in the hell was pretentious. His claims that his
                        >printing was "real" was about as fake as it gets...
                        >
                        ...

                        --
                        AzByCx DwEvFu GtHsIr JqKpLo MnNmOl PkQjRi ShTgUf VeWdXc YbZa&@

                        Peter Fraterdeus http://www.midsummernightstamps.com
                        http://www.fraterdeus.com |* + * + * + Rubber Stamp Fine Art!

                        http://www.semiotx.com Web Strategy Consulting < * > Mac OS X
                        "Words that work."(tm) Communication Design and Typography
                      • Katie Harper
                        Peter: Yes, I forgot to mention that one of the downsides of technological shift is that the artisans and practitioners of the old way are usually thrown out
                        Message 11 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                          Peter:

                          Yes, I forgot to mention that one of the downsides of technological shift is
                          that the artisans and practitioners of the old way are usually thrown out of
                          work.

                          I heartily agree with your point that it's not so much the actual tool or
                          method, as what is done with it, that is important. I was talking the other
                          day with a student about one of the (in my opinion) low points in
                          typographic history, photo type, and while most of it was plug ugly, there
                          were geniuses like Herb Lubalin who could make it sing.

                          Katie Harper

                          on 5/1/03 10:38 AM, Peter Fraterdeus at peterf@... wrote:

                          > 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
                          > feedback 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!
                          >
                          >
                          > Ciao
                          > Peter
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > At 9:11 AM -0400 2003-05-01, Mike Gastin wrote:
                          >> Bryan,
                          >>
                          >> I read that same article and thought the guy was a dope. But, I thought more
                          >> 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 ....
                          >>
                          >> Mike
                          >>
                          >>
                          >> ----- Original Message -----
                          >> From: "Bryan Hutcheson" <bryan@...>
                          >> To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
                          >> 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. There
                          >> 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 using
                          >> polymer, but he sure in the hell was pretentious. His claims that his
                          >> printing was "real" was about as fake as it gets...
                          >>
                          > ...
                        • Paul W Romaine
                          ... [....] The old ... Like Carole, I would not deign to call these people purists, they are antiquarian romantics. Gerald tells the wonderful story of one
                          Message 12 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                            --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Carole Aldrich wrote:
                            [....] >The old
                            > style group who eschews anything new and those who realize that there
                            > is a marriage of old and new technology that can benefit all.

                            Like Carole, I would not deign to call these people "purists," they
                            are antiquarian romantics. Gerald tells the wonderful story of one
                            such person (whom I know, and who's a great guy), sniffing at
                            photopolymer as too technological, and then immediately responding to
                            his beeper. I certainly respect the folks at Colonial Williamsburg who
                            labor on the common press, but I sure as all heck wouldn't want to do
                            it myself for a living. And trust me, those workers go home to houses
                            with central heating and plumbing. Some even use... computers.

                            > Yes, you are right that I posted here to get affirmation. When
                            > phototypesetting became commonplace in the graphics world, there were
                            > those who thought it was not up to the quality of the old ways.

                            I think one of the most judicious responses I've heard on
                            photocomposition or digital composition came from the New York
                            designer Jerry Kelly in an informal chat. It all depends on the *care*
                            with which you work with the tools that you're given. He insists that
                            photocomp offset or any other technology can be a fine tool in the
                            hands of a careful craftsperson.

                            Would Bruce Rogers or Daniel Berkeley Updike have jumped at
                            photopolymer, digital composition and modern offset? You bet! And
                            Updike, in particular, seems to have had some remorse at how, as a
                            young whippersnapper, he so frequently changed designs after type had
                            been set--see some of the essays in the new DBU anthology from Mark
                            Batty. He and John Bianci had hot metal machines at Merrymount Press
                            by the time of Updike's death. (O tempora! O mores!)

                            > Now, when I look at metal type and contrast that with the finesse of
                            > kerning and spacing that I have with my computer type, I feel really
                            > restricted by using metal type.

                            Well, yes, but there's an immediacy and physicality to metal type. I
                            find it a PITA to handle, especially as my eyes get older, but there's
                            a certain feel and ... for lack of a better term, "zen" to setting
                            foundry type.

                            > I'm sure even Gutenberg was considered a pariah by some, since his
                            > type was mechanical and lacked the finesse of hand calligraphy.

                            Carole, I'm glad you cast this as speculation. As another poster has
                            noted, historically, it was the soon-to-be-out-of-work scribes who
                            were most affected.

                            > What his [Gutenberg's] technology did was to bring books to the masses.<

                            May I quibble? Gutenberg's invention had the *potential* to bring
                            books, pardons, printed forms, posters, newspapers, playbills, ticket
                            stubs, flyers, and printed tin cans to the masses, but that would be
                            the future. He printed for a small number of well-off organizations
                            and people, like the Church. The first "humanist" printers printed for
                            a small number of humanist scholars (like Valla, Bembus and later
                            Erasmus) and highly educated nobles (courtier, Castiglione-types),
                            then the circle widened as very small middle class, concerned for its
                            salvation, began learning to read. The great mass of people were not
                            reading, not even in the 18th century. (This "books to the masses"
                            idea is like the ever-rising middle class.) There's a widening circle
                            affected by literacy in each century, in different countries, with
                            each innovator, and the masses are truly not reached until the
                            invention of the cylinder press and its harnessing to non-human
                            sources of power in the 19th C. In the pre-industrial revolution, a
                            better claim to bringing books to the masses could be made by John
                            Bell and his (textually awful, but typographically important)
                            libraries of great authors, like Shakespeare. In fact, Bell, in his
                            introduction to Shakespeare, explains that he eliminated long-s in his
                            presswork, in part because of the problem of increasing literacy in
                            the serving classes. (Try reading aloud "Where the bee sucks, there
                            suck I," from _As You Like It_. Cite reference on Bell to Paul W.
                            Nash's article in Journal of the Printing Historical Society, 2000.)

                            All in all, an interesting thread of discussion.

                            Best,
                            Paul
                            Paul W Romaine
                            http://home.pipeline.com/~romaine
                          • Bruce Kennett Studio
                            ... this seems spot-on to me! i am a photographer as well as book designer, and a few years ago i helped to create a book for kodak s professional photography
                            Message 13 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                              >I guess my take on it is this: all these things are tools in our toolbox.
                              >The more tools we have, the more choices we have so that we can satisfy both
                              >aesthetic and practical considerations. I frankly prefer to stay open to all
                              >possibilities and the various quirks of each process because I think the
                              >subtle differences in each process increase the potential for powerful
                              >communication.

                              this seems spot-on to me!

                              i am a photographer as well as book designer, and a few years ago i
                              helped to create a book for kodak's professional photography division
                              in germany. it was at a time when a lot of professional shooters were
                              growing very anxious about converting to digital. the thrust of the
                              book was that they should not fully embrace digital, nor should they
                              hold back in pure analogue. instead, they should think of it as a
                              system of *hybrid* imaging, where they drew from the strengths of
                              each area and tried to minimize as best they could the inherent
                              shortcomings of each. (for example, an image on a sheet of 4x5 color
                              transparency film can hold a HUGE amount of data, and have fantastic
                              tonal smoothness, and it takes up a whole lot less room than a hard
                              drive; but it's also very tender and fragile, and it remains as a
                              physical object. by contrast, a digital file of the same image can be
                              sent electronically, manipulated in a wild number of ways, and
                              combined with other images, etc. but it may be lacking in subtlety
                              and tonal smoothness.)

                              that said, each year brings digital that much closer to analogue in
                              photography, and in music reproduction.

                              i agree wholeheartedly with katie here: i feel most comfortable with
                              the notion that there *is* no absolute best way, it varies so much
                              from job to job -- driven by content, budget, schedule, available
                              machinery, intended readers, etc. and i'm more interested in good
                              printing and effective and beautiful design than i am in *real*
                              printing (whatever that is . . .)

                              bruce

                              (i just signed up for this list so i'll be a new name for everyone,b
                              ut at some point i'll explain a bit about my interests)
                              --


                              +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                              Bruce Kennett Studio
                              1234 West Side Road
                              North Conway NH 03860
                              Phone 603-447-2338
                              Fax 603-447-5510
                              www.brucekennettstudio.com
                              +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                            • Fritz Klinke
                              My 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
                              Message 14 of 26 , May 1, 2003
                              • 0 Attachment
                                My 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
                                experience.

                                Fritz Klinke, NA Graphics
                                1314 Greene Street, P.O. Box 467
                                Silverton, Colorado 81433 USA
                                970-387-0212, fax 970-387-0127
                                nagraph@...



                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: "Peter Fraterdeus" <peterf@...>
                                To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
                                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!


                                Ciao
                                Peter



                                At 9:11 AM -0400 2003-05-01, Mike Gastin wrote:
                                >Bryan,
                                >
                                >I read that same article and thought the guy was a dope. But, I thought
                                more
                                >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
                                ....
                                >
                                >Mike
                                >
                                >
                                >----- Original Message -----
                                >From: "Bryan Hutcheson" <bryan@...>
                                >To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
                                >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.
                                There
                                >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
                                g
                                >polymer, but he sure in the hell was pretentious. His claims that his
                                >printing was "real" was about as fake as it gets...
                                >
                                ...

                                --
                                AzByCx DwEvFu GtHsIr JqKpLo MnNmOl PkQjRi ShTgUf VeWdXc YbZa&@

                                Peter Fraterdeus http://www.midsummernightstamps.com
                                http://www.fraterdeus.com |* + * + * + Rubber Stamp Fine Art!

                                http://www.semiotx.com Web Strategy Consulting < * > Mac OS X
                                "Words that work."(tm) Communication Design and Typography


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                              • Charles Jones
                                Would those on the list recommend a Heidelberg cylinder press? I have the chance to get one. We are using a vandercook Univ. III at present. Charlie
                                Message 15 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                                  Would those on the list recommend a Heidelberg cylinder press? I have the
                                  chance to get one. We are using a vandercook Univ. III at present. Charlie
                                • Charles Jones
                                  I understand that the Medici Family of Florence would not support the establishment of a press in the late 1500 s because it would was felt that books printed
                                  Message 16 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                                    I understand that the Medici Family of Florence would not support the
                                    establishment of a press in the late 1500's because it would was felt that
                                    books printed from type, that new fangled'stuff would somehow lessen the
                                    value of their collection of hand illuminated and lettered books. We need,
                                    as so many have eloqeuntly said, realize that tools are tools and not the
                                    result. I belonged to a letterpress guild for a year or two during which
                                    time I received a bundle of work printed from type each month. There was
                                    some good but most was poorly designed and often times badly printed.
                                    Cheers, Charlie
                                  • Kathleen Whalen
                                    Unreservedly YES! In England the private presses Fleece, Whittington and the late lamented Rocket Press, all use Heidelberg cylinders if you d like to see the
                                    Message 17 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                                      Unreservedly YES! In England the private presses Fleece, Whittington and the
                                      late lamented Rocket Press, all use Heidelberg cylinders if you'd like to
                                      see the sort of work that small publishers are producing on these machines.


                                      Graham Moss
                                      Incline Press
                                      11A Printer Street
                                      Oldham OL1 1PN England
                                      (44) 0161 627 1966
                                      http://www.inclinepress.com


                                      > From: Charles Jones <cjones@...>
                                      > Reply-To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Date: Thu, 01 May 2003 12:11:01 -0500
                                      > To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Real press?
                                      >
                                      > Would those on the list recommend a Heidelberg cylinder press? I have the
                                      > chance to get one. We are using a vandercook Univ. III at present. Charlie
                                      >
                                    • funquie
                                      ... I d beg to differ. From what I ve read of Rogers (in his own words, and those of his biographers and friends) he thought Offset printing was, although a
                                      Message 18 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                                        "Paul W Romaine" wrote:


                                        > Would Bruce Rogers or Daniel Berkeley Updike have jumped at
                                        > photopolymer, digital composition and modern offset? You bet!

                                        I'd beg to differ. From what I've read of Rogers (in his own words,
                                        and those of his biographers and friends) he thought Offset printing
                                        was, although a boon for the printing "industry", a curse on the
                                        printing "art". It's product is cold, sterile, flat, and without
                                        tactile "real-ness"...

                                        All that said, you can't get good color photos in a publication with
                                        lettepress technology...


                                        > a certain feel and ... for lack of a better term, "zen" to setting
                                        > foundry type.

                                        Yes, I agree. Although I've been working with computers since
                                        "PageMaker v.1.0", and can set electronic type with the best of them
                                        (gotta love those AdobeExpert Sets!), there is something meditative
                                        about setting lead type by hand. The rhythmic click of lead alloy on
                                        steel, the preassure of the thumb in a composing stick, the swinging
                                        of the arm from case to stick--it IS a very Zen activity. Setting type
                                        by hand is all about "REAL-NESS"--metal, ink, clacking steel and iron,
                                        letters and images being forcibly impressed into paper. Letterpress
                                        printing produces a real, tangible, eternal THING.

                                        Whereas, setting type on computers is all about illusion. Bits and
                                        bytes, transitory signals through wires, lasers, static charges, toner
                                        on paper which will crumble away in a few decades. Modern printing is
                                        fleeting, impermanent, and transitory.



                                        > May I quibble? Gutenberg's invention had the *potential* to bring
                                        > books, pardons, printed forms, posters, newspapers, playbills...

                                        Although modern free-thinking individuals might speculate that the
                                        Press had tremendous potential to free the common man, it in fact only
                                        aided to his further enslavement, subjugation, and oppression. The
                                        Press brought mass-produceable printed messages, and with it,, the
                                        easy dissemination of ever-increasing laws, beaurocracy, and
                                        government regulations of everything from what texts were printed, to
                                        how many chickens you were allowed to own if you were of a certain
                                        religion...

                                        The press brought things like censorship, beaurocracy, genocide (based
                                        on census data) and propaganda into ubiquity.

                                        The press, in fact, could be touted as the single most insideous
                                        instrument of human subjugation since the sword or spear...

                                        I've been doing letterpress for about 2 years. I did a little in
                                        college (a few decades ago, printing posters for the Theatre Dept.
                                        with wood type on a little flatbed poster press.) I also do a LOT of
                                        computer typesetting. The shop where I currently work prints mostly
                                        offset, with plates we make directly from our computer files.

                                        I wish they made "relief" plate material for our Direct-To-Plate
                                        machine. To be able to make my own plates for the Heidelberg from
                                        files on my mac, and have them spit out in a matter of minutes would
                                        be heavenly, but alas, it is not to be...

                                        I love my Mac. I love Quark and Photoshop and Illustrator. I love
                                        well-crafted digital type (which is, unfortunately, in the vast
                                        MINORITY in the hundreds of currently available digital typefaces.)

                                        But there is something very special and almost mystical about pulling
                                        some slightly over-preassure prints, set in ATF Caslon Old Style on
                                        Rives BFK Medium from the platen of my 1912 C&P 10x15 Old Series
                                        press--a feeling, both magical and tangible that I doubt we will ever
                                        be able to elicit from modern digital techno-printing, no matter how
                                        high the resolution, how advanced the pigments, or how sophisticated
                                        the software becomes...

                                        And so I set type, and print. And I use Photopolymer plates too
                                        because it lets me use techniques and tricks on Letterpress that are
                                        otherwise impossible (or maddening) to achieve. Like "text-on-a-curve"
                                        or sophisticated separations, or strange type manipulation.

                                        But no matte what I do on my computer, when it comes to printing type,
                                        it will ALWAYS (in my opinion) look better if printed by a relief
                                        process. I'm sure the folks at Ryobi, Heidelberg, and Komori think
                                        differently, but they are just too dazzled by the technology to see
                                        the subtle beauty of "real printing"...

                                        That's just my opinion, though. YMMV...

                                        --Richard Creighton
                                        "Dreamer Press"
                                        Martinsburg WV
                                      • funquie
                                        ... According to an associate of mine who used to work for the US Dept of Treasury, Heidelberg Cylinders are about as close as you can get to the presses they
                                        Message 19 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                                          Charles Jones wrote:

                                          > Would those on the list recommend a Heidelberg cylinder press?
                                          > I have the chance to get one.

                                          According to an associate of mine who used to work for the US Dept of
                                          Treasury, Heidelberg Cylinders are about as close as you can get to
                                          the presses they use to print US currency, in quality of image,
                                          reliability, and durability. I've already decided that after I get a
                                          Windmill, my first flatbed cylinder with be, without a doubt, a
                                          Heidelberg. But that's WAY down the line. First, I need a Kingsley
                                          foiler, a bigger C&P Old Series, a C&P Craftsman, and I have to build
                                          a wood-frame/metal screw Franklin/Common press...

                                          Yes, I'm relatively young (37) very ambition, and still have stars in
                                          my eyes. My attitude is explained by the name my girlfriend came up
                                          with for my shop... :)

                                          --Richard Creighton
                                          "Dreamer Press"
                                          Martinsburg WV
                                        • The Indian Hill Press
                                          By all means grab the Heidelberg cylinder. We use ours almost daily, and with ever more admiration for the fantastic engineering. One warning, however. These
                                          Message 20 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                                            By all means grab the Heidelberg cylinder. We use ours almost daily,
                                            and with ever more admiration for the fantastic engineering.

                                            One warning, however. These machines are built like the Pyramids. Our
                                            KSBA weighs in at about 6,600 pounds - and ours is the baby of the
                                            family. It takes a real pro to move a Heidelberg - forget the
                                            crowbars and pipe rollers!

                                            Dan Waters
                                            Indian Hill Press

                                            >Would those on the list recommend a Heidelberg cylinder press? I have the
                                            >chance to get one. We are using a vandercook Univ. III at present. Charlie
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >ï To respond to a post or post a message to the membership:
                                            >PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                                            >ï Encountering problems? contact:
                                            >PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
                                            >ï To unsubscribe:
                                            >PPLetterpress-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                            >
                                            >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                          • thronobulx@aol.com
                                            Tell it like it is, Fritz! James Shanley B Designs [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            Message 21 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                                              Tell it like it is, Fritz!

                                              James Shanley
                                              B Designs


                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            • thronobulx@aol.com
                                              While I have nothing but total admiration and respect for Dan Waters as New-England s preeminent folk poet and master printer, I must beg to differ. Under no
                                              Message 22 of 26 , May 1, 2003
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                While I have nothing but total admiration and respect for Dan Waters as
                                                New-England's preeminent folk poet and master printer, I must beg to differ.

                                                Under no circumstances should you procure that Heidelberg cylinder press!
                                                Have it sent directly to my shop so that I may suffer appropriately for all
                                                my past, present and future sins. This is my only hope of salvation.

                                                Thank you for helping me atone.

                                                James Shanley
                                                B Designs.


                                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                              • Charles Jones
                                                ... I am making the arrangements as I type. Look for it on your birthday! All 3 tons of it. And a good morning to all, Charlie
                                                Message 23 of 26 , May 2, 2003
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  On 5/1/03 9:31 PM, "thronobulx@..." <thronobulx@...> wrote:

                                                  > While I have nothing but total admiration and respect for Dan Waters as
                                                  > New-England's preeminent folk poet and master printer, I must beg to differ.
                                                  >
                                                  > Under no circumstances should you procure that Heidelberg cylinder press!
                                                  > Have it sent directly to my shop so that I may suffer appropriately for all
                                                  > my past, present and future sins. This is my only hope of salvation.
                                                  >
                                                  > Thank you for helping me atone.
                                                  >
                                                  > James Shanley
                                                  > B Designs.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > ? To respond to a post or post a message to the membership:
                                                  > PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                                                  > ? Encountering problems? contact:
                                                  > PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
                                                  > ? To unsubscribe:
                                                  > PPLetterpress-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                                  >
                                                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  I am making the arrangements as I type. Look for it on your birthday! All
                                                  3 tons of it. And a good morning to all, Charlie
                                                • Charles Jones
                                                  ... This press has been converted for die-cutting and embossing. It was built in 1950 and came from Buckingham Palace according to the auction house s
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , May 2, 2003
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    On 5/1/03 4:38 PM, "The Indian Hill Press" <mail@...> wrote:

                                                    > By all means grab the Heidelberg cylinder. We use ours almost daily,
                                                    > and with ever more admiration for the fantastic engineering.
                                                    >
                                                    > One warning, however. These machines are built like the Pyramids. Our
                                                    > KSBA weighs in at about 6,600 pounds - and ours is the baby of the
                                                    > family. It takes a real pro to move a Heidelberg - forget the
                                                    > crowbars and pipe rollers!
                                                    >
                                                    > Dan Waters
                                                    > Indian Hill Press
                                                    >
                                                    This press has been converted for die-cutting and embossing. It was built
                                                    in 1950 and came from Buckingham Palace according to the auction house's
                                                    information. Is it costly and or difficult to convert it back to
                                                    letterpress?
                                                    I appreciate anything you folks can tell me. Cheers, Charlie
                                                  • Fritz Klinke
                                                    Serial numbers 196 through 1240 are attributed to 1950, the first year of S line Heidelberg cylinders (Wieslock plant). A converted press usually means the
                                                    Message 25 of 26 , May 2, 2003
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      Serial numbers 196 through 1240 are attributed to 1950, the first year of S
                                                      line Heidelberg cylinders (Wieslock plant). A converted press usually means
                                                      the "inkers," as the non-letterpress folks call the ink fountain/ink roller
                                                      assembly, have been removed and other changes mean that it is impossible to
                                                      reconfigure a true converted press. Additionally, most press beds, which are
                                                      made of relatively soft cast iron, are usually milled down to accept a
                                                      harder steel bed plate as steel rule will dent a regular bed. Have someone
                                                      who is knowledgeable about Heidelberg cylinders look at it, but I doubt you
                                                      would be able to print with this press.

                                                      In the US, firms like Hicks Brothers, Demers, and Whittenberg regularly
                                                      convert Heidelberg cylinders ("printers") to diecutters and trash the inking
                                                      assemblies. I remember seeing an ink fountain off a KSBA sticking out of the
                                                      dumpster in back of Hicks Brothers several years ago when I visited their
                                                      plant in San Francisco. There was also a large stack of Heidelberg ink
                                                      rollers waiting to be picked up by the trash people. There is no demand
                                                      commercially for Heidelberg cylinders for printing, but there is a steady
                                                      market for die cutters, and the larger sizes command premium prices.

                                                      Fritz Klinke, NA Graphics
                                                      1314 Greene Street, P.O. Box 467
                                                      Silverton, Colorado 81433 USA
                                                      970-387-0212, fax 970-387-0127
                                                      nagraph@...

                                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                                      From: "Charles Jones" <cjones@...>
                                                      To: <PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com>
                                                      Sent: Friday, May 02, 2003 10:03 AM
                                                      Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Real press has been converted


                                                      On 5/1/03 4:38 PM, "The Indian Hill Press" <mail@...> wrote:

                                                      > By all means grab the Heidelberg cylinder. We use ours almost daily,
                                                      > and with ever more admiration for the fantastic engineering.
                                                      >
                                                      > One warning, however. These machines are built like the Pyramids. Our
                                                      > KSBA weighs in at about 6,600 pounds - and ours is the baby of the
                                                      > family. It takes a real pro to move a Heidelberg - forget the
                                                      > crowbars and pipe rollers!
                                                      >
                                                      > Dan Waters
                                                      > Indian Hill Press
                                                      >
                                                      This press has been converted for die-cutting and embossing. It was built
                                                      in 1950 and came from Buckingham Palace according to the auction house's
                                                      information. Is it costly and or difficult to convert it back to
                                                      letterpress?
                                                      I appreciate anything you folks can tell me. Cheers, Charlie



                                                      . To respond to a post or post a message to the membership:
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                                                    • Charles Jones
                                                      Thank you Fritz, I was afraid that was the case. I will still go and have a look at the remains of the two shops. Cheers, Charlie
                                                      Message 26 of 26 , May 2, 2003
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        Thank you Fritz,
                                                        I was afraid that was the case. I will still go and have a look at the
                                                        remains of the two shops. Cheers, Charlie
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