Letter ink traps in photopolymer
- I'm curious. I just became aware ink traps as a 'design feature' or a
non-functional archaism for digital types. The matter was discussed on the
Typographi forums http://typographi.ca/000611.php, concerning Christian
Schwartz's face "Amplitude." (There's also a link to a showing of the
type.) Ink traps on metal type are "alterations to the face to prevent ink
from accumulating in corners and at junctions." Gerald told me there are
two types of ink traps: one "a bit of a squared off end to what normally
would be a incised angle" and two, "a slight reduction in the curve as it
led into the angle." There are some Acrobat files on the PPL website (How
To section) showing ink traps. Particularly dramatic are the traps on
Carter's Bell Centennial. I'm not entirely clear if ink traps were commonly
used in metal type (foundry or hot metal) or photofont.
So my question: in taking digital types without ink traps, have you
experienced problems? The traps are more visible at larger sizes--has
anyone had to compensate to hide them? Has anyone tried to add traps of
their own to faces lacking them (in non-display sizes)? Has anyone had
problems of another sort--a trap for the unwary, so to speak??
You might want to check out the typographic.ca discussion--the comparison
of type making to show making is quite amusing and resonates for this
descendant of cobblers.
Paul W. Romaine
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> In answer to Matt's thought about using mat foil: IJan,
> use Kreene foil (is that mat?) and no glass right now.
Apologies for my belated reply to this question: Yes, I think it's
called Kreene foil and is a vital part of the system, not only when
exposing the plates using a traditional setup with UV tubes but even
more so when using a UV point light source, like Theimers, NuArcs, Olecs
and the like. Harold Kyle @ Boxcar Press (on the list) sells it,
together with alot of other fine printing pressroom supplies, should you
run out of it.
Regarding halftones I agree with Katie's recent post. Extremely high
quality fine halftone work can be carried out using a letterpress
printing press but since the eclipse of specialty makeready systems,
like Permaton and chalk overlays, you probably wouldn't want to do it
anyway. If you aim for halftones a better investment would be an
entry-level offset press, like some of AB Dick's earlier models, which
can be bought for very modest prices.
Regarding the Windmill, you shouldn't be afraid, but merely keep a
healthy respect for it, and any other motorized presses. Even with all
the guards working fine, a platen press can hurt you very badly, and is
perhaps more dangerous than a cylinder press. Should you aim for a
Windmill - which indeed is a remarkable press of which I own two - never
work by it when you are out of shouting distance to someone until you
are very, very experienced.
All the best,