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Re: Packing: Hard vs. Soft and Degrees of Impression

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  • michael babcock | interrobang
    yawn. such tired subjects. the fact is, packing is largely a moot point since you all print from plastic. hard packing was _always_ desirable, as soft packing
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 5, 2003
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      yawn. such tired subjects.

      the fact is, packing is largely a moot point since you all print from
      plastic.

      hard packing was _always_ desirable, as soft packing would tend to create a
      matrix on your draw sheet which would hasten the wear of your metal type.

      end of story. yap all you want, but that is why one packed a press with hard
      packing.

      -

      with regard to degree of impression, every job demands a different solution.
      any ass can smack up a sheet.

      i'm unimpressed by the 'i'm a ground breaker, outcast, heretic' argument. if
      every job you run is over-impressed, well then i say you are more concerned
      with banging the job out and on to the next. send out the bill.

      there are plenty of production presses here whose business is to make marks
      on paper. the process they sell happens to have a rich history which they
      are unconcerned with preserving. selling the look without the substance.

      whatever. you're making a living selling something that has become trendy.
      no doubt when the wave subsides you'll move on to a new venture.

      the fact is, if you picked up a fine press book with sheets that were
      over-impressed so that the letterforms and their backed-up brethren competed
      for prominence on the page, you would find the effect will impede the
      legibility of the printed page.

      so there's a reason that transcends personal preference. deal with it.

      if you aren't printing books, but rather, ephemera, impress it to any degree
      you like. but don't be so cavalier as to believe a heavy impression is
      ground breaking. any hack without a paper thickness gauge can quickly
      over-pack a platen or cylinder and flip a switch. bravo. what's for dinner.

      there is a 'proper' impression, and that varies depending on the paper you
      are running, whether the page is composed of type, (or facsimiles thereof)
      type and cuts, or cuts alone. each combination requires a different
      approach. one depth does not fit all.

      the late pressman for Baskin, Robinson, Moser, et al., Harold McGrath is
      quoted as once saying "less ink, more impression". somehow i think he still
      realized that there is a notion of what proper impression is. it serves the
      job, not the laziness or caprice of the pressman, nor the ignorance of the
      client.

      do it right or don't do it at all.

      --
      best, m | interrobang
    • M a n i f e s t o P r e s s
      Michael Excuse me while I step up on my ³plastic² soap-box. I was wondering when you were going to chime on the subject. I was beginning to worry something
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 5, 2003
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        Michael
        Excuse me while I step up on my ³plastic² soap-box.

        I was wondering when you were going to chime on the subject. I was beginning
        to worry something had happened.

        No one here thinks that were are being ³cavalier² by hitting with heavy
        impression. We were warned by the initial post that we were outcasts. If I
        must be an outcast, an outcast I will be. To be so for such a silly reason
        only make sit more comical.

        You sound like a true Bush-ist when you make the comment ³do it right or
        don¹t do it at all.² The conservative way of doing things works well for
        some. To arrogantly claim there is a ³right² way to do things is really
        funny. Learning to print with heavy impression, as well as kiss impression
        expands the opportunities of the press operator. Styles change. A dogmatic
        commitment to doing things single-mindedly only serves to again reduce
        growth in the trade.

        I love your printing with plastic comments. They give me a chuckle every
        time I read them. I also love the rich history comments. My clients are less
        concerned with rich history and more concerned with their ever-shrinking
        budgets. I know there is a rich history.

        When I ran a windmill and kluge just out of high school vocational graphic
        arts school, the old-timers I trained with really didn¹t give a damn about
        the rich history of letterpress. They wanted to turn the job around as
        quickly as possible. Their concern wasn¹t with the romance of the business,
        it was about profit. Making the client happy increased profit. I am not
        going to tell my client that what they want is considered wrong by a group
        holier-than-thou printers in lead towers?

        Your statement that letterpress has become trendy is also an interesting
        point. I would say it¹s become more affordable, not trendy. This new
        affordability is due mainly to the increased availability of photopolymer.
        The simple fact that polymer is very cost-effective makes letterpress more
        accessible to people who have traditionally found the platen option
        cost-prohibitive. If that¹s a trend, so be it. Photopolymer makes
        letterpress a real option for tight budget projects.

        One of my largest clients puts it simply when she says, ³If I want it to
        look like offset, I¹ll print it offset.² Now I know that¹s an over
        simplification, but that¹s from the mouth of my client, the one who signs
        the checks.

        For such a tired topic, you seem to address it with very heated language. It
        makes for good reading over my second cup of coffee. Keep up the good work.
        Your opinions/statements-of-truth would be truly missed.


        Cheers,
        Bryan





        bryan hutcheson

        manifesto letterpress
        116 pleasant st. #2245
        easthampton, ma 01027

        p/f: 413.529.0009
        http://www.manifestopress.com

        Custom Letterpress Printing & Design
        ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­
        Announcements ­ Stationery ­ Packaging







        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • E Roustom
        ... That s a very silly statement to make. Any novice reading this is not served at all by it. After all, this forum is not just for the experienced to mouth
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 5, 2003
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          >the fact is, packing is largely a moot point since you all print from
          >plastic.

          That's a very silly statement to make. Any novice reading this is not served
          at all by it. After all, this forum is not just for the experienced to mouth
          off at each other, but serves to promote letterpress printing. A good
          printer like yourself knows better?

          > i'm unimpressed by the 'i'm a ground breaker, outcast, heretic' argument.
          It's not an argument, it's just for fun.
          > if every job you run is over-impressed, well then i say you are more concerned
          > with banging the job out and on to the next. send out the bill.
          >
          > there are plenty of production presses here whose business is to make marks
          > on paper. the process they sell happens to have a rich history which they
          > are unconcerned with preserving. selling the look without the substance.

          I don't know anybody involved in letterpress who is using it as a get rich
          quick scheme - is anybody that numb to the harsh realities of life? Nor do I
          know anybody in our field who does not come from a design or fine arts
          background, or who hasn't taken the time to study the craft.
          No client asking for letterpress is looking for anything to be banged
          out. If any generality can me made here it is that buyers of letterpress are
          more choosey and detail oriented, and far more critical of the finished
          product than they would be with offset production. Those printers who are
          "more concerned with banging the job out and on to the next" do not exist
          (not for long anyway).
          Making a living at a craft such as this is not the same as selling bubble
          gum. The production presses "here" (I assume you mean New Englan) can be
          counted on one hand, that's not plenty. We are providing a service much in
          demand today. We trade on the history and substance of the craft, there is
          no shame in that. We attract clients by sharing our love for what we do.

          So who or what are you talking about?

          >if you aren't printing books, but rather, ephemera, impress it to any degree
          >you like. but don't be so cavalier as to believe a heavy impression is
          >ground breaking. any hack without a paper thickness gauge can quickly
          >over-pack a platen or cylinder and flip a switch. bravo. what's for dinner.

          Heavy impression is not ground breaking. Anyone who thinks so is not aware
          of the history of printing (tradition may be wrongly thought to back kiss
          impression). Perceptible impression is really what most people are after,
          often it coincides with a heavy dent on the back of the sheet; sometimes
          that's acceptable, other times it has to be ignored. People want letterpress
          with impression because it gives them a product that stands apart from all
          other methods, it is special, and makes them feel special too. What's wrong
          with that?
          And no, it is not the work of any hack. The [leftover] equipment we use
          today wasn't designed for the heavy dent. It can be achieved, in a
          controlled fashion, only with very careful press work. Sloppiness and
          impression don't refer to one another.
          Zida Borcich in her recent post noted that job work has only improved,
          and she is right. Exploiting impression is one of the main reasons.

          Elias
        • Gerald Lange
          Yeah Tonight I m waiting around for midnight to weight the dampened paper for the job that begins tomorrow morning. Just finished that. At 4:30 AM I have to
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 6, 2003
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            Yeah

            Tonight I'm waiting around for midnight to weight the dampened paper
            for the job that begins tomorrow morning. Just finished that. At 4:30
            AM I have to get up and turn the paper again. At 9:00 AM I'll turn it
            again and hopefully it will be ready for printing.

            Does the client know I do this? Heck no. I wouldn't even dare tell
            her. But she does expect it.

            Gerald


            > No client asking for letterpress is looking for anything to be banged
            > out. If any generality can me made here it is that buyers of
            letterpress are
            > more choosey and detail oriented, and far more critical of the finished
            > product than they would be with offset production.
            >
            > Elias
          • Brian Molanphy
            gerald wrote: Tonight I m waiting around for midnight to weight the dampened paper for the job that begins tomorrow morning. Just finished that. At 4:30 AM I
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 6, 2003
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              gerald wrote: Tonight I'm waiting around for midnight to weight the
              dampened paper
              for the job that begins tomorrow morning. Just finished that. At 4:30
              AM I have to get up and turn the paper again. At 9:00 AM I'll turn it
              again and hopefully it will be ready for printing.


              gerald, what's all that? you gotta turn the paper to get it evenly damp?
              do you simply turn over the whole pile as a unit, or do you rotate each
              sheet? what kind of paper in this case? -brian
            • Gerald Lange
              brian Yeah, I keep the heap rotating on a very scheduled basis. No RULE here folks, just something I ve learned that keeps me out of trouble. The rotation
              Message 6 of 6 , Nov 6, 2003
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                brian

                Yeah, I keep the heap rotating on a very scheduled basis. No RULE here
                folks, just something I've learned that keeps me out of trouble. The
                rotation keeps the moisture from pooling and allows even distribution
                throughout. Scheduling depends on the paper and the duration it will
                be kept in the damp boxes. During the initial hydration process the
                sheets are between heavy pieces of acetate so its no big deal to flip.
                Sometimes, if you screw up (feels too damp) you might have to re order
                the pile sheet by sheet but usually that might only happen with an
                unfamiliar paper. This one is a heavy mouldmade, with a tendency to
                hang onto the moisture, and the printing set up over a two day period.
                So it has a tighter turning schedule with less water initially applied.

                Gotta go

                Gerald


                > gerald wrote: Tonight I'm waiting around for midnight to weight the
                > dampened paper
                > for the job that begins tomorrow morning. Just finished that. At 4:30
                > AM I have to get up and turn the paper again. At 9:00 AM I'll turn it
                > again and hopefully it will be ready for printing.
                >
                >
                > gerald, what's all that? you gotta turn the paper to get it evenly damp?
                > do you simply turn over the whole pile as a unit, or do you rotate each
                > sheet? what kind of paper in this case? -brian
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