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Re: [PPLetterpress] Real Printing

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                    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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 of 26 , May 1, 2003
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                                    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 17 of 26 , May 2, 2003
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                                      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 18 of 26 , May 2, 2003
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                                        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 19 of 26 , May 2, 2003
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                                          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:
                                          PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                                          . Encountering problems? contact:
                                          PPLetterpress-owner@yahoogroups.com
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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 20 of 26 , May 2, 2003
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                                            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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