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Re: Photopolymer Optimization of letterforms

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  • Gerald Lange
    Dear David Thanks for the return post. I would very much like to see your sample output. I think letterform optimization is a crucial aspect of getting
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 22, 2001
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      Dear David

      Thanks for the return post. I would very much like to see your sample
      output. I think letterform optimization is a crucial aspect of getting
      photopolymer to print as if it were metal type. Lots of folks don't
      understand this and then blame the process. So thanks for bringing it
      back up.

      Gerald Lange
      The Bieler Press
      4216 1/4 Glencoe Avenue
      Marina del Rey, CA 90292

      All best

      Gerald

      dpwall@h... wrote:
      >

      ...I've wondered for a long time if I was the only person bothered by
      > the fat appearance of most polymer type. It is refreshing to hear
      > in this discussion group that there are other people out there with
      > similar concerns.
      >
      > With regards,
      >
      > Dave
    • dpwall@hotmail.com
      Gerald: The proofs are on their way, via USPS. I live in northern Vermont, so they probably won t arrive in your mailbox until the middle of next week. Dave
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 23, 2001
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        Gerald:

        The proofs are on their way, via USPS. I live in northern Vermont, so
        they probably won't arrive in your mailbox until the middle of next
        week.

        Dave


        --- In PPLetterpress@y..., "Gerald Lange" <bieler@w...> wrote:
        >
        >Thanks for the return post. I would very much like to see your
        >sample output. I think letterform optimization is a crucial aspect
        >of getting photopolymer to print as if it were metal type. Lots of
        >folks don't understand this and then blame the process. So thanks
        >for bringing it back up.
        >
      • Gerald Lange
        Dear David [Wall] Thanks for sending the proofs. These look quite good. I ve got some questions: Is the -.064 choke normative or maximum? How much further
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 28, 2001
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          Dear David [Wall]

          Thanks for sending the proofs. These look quite good. I've got some
          questions:
          Is the -.064 choke normative or maximum? How much further could you
          choke before you experience letterform breakup?
          I assume this is possible in PageMaker, Illustrator, InDesign as well,
          do you know?
          Does this effect leading or other page parameters; line length, text
          block measure, etc? From the proofs I'd quess not, correct?
          What are the difficulties encountered in explaining the trapping to
          the folks at the service bureau (film house)?

          Think this may be a useful technique. Thanks.

          Gerald

          David P. Wall wrote
          When first experimenting with polymer letterpress several years ago, I
          discovered that there are also ways to "negative trap" or "choke" the
          type in QuarkXPress to compensate for ink squeeze and some of the
          vagaries of using a single master type pattern for multiple sizes of a
          computer typeface. The process is not quite as simple as spreading the
          text for offset printing, and I've found that not all film houses are
          interested in working through the somewhat strange parameters. But if
          you can find a film house that is willing to work with you, the
          results are remarkably satisfying....
          .... you can negative-trap blocks of text-size type, or display or
          even rules, and probably some line art depending on how the art image
          files are formatted. Where multiple sizes of type appear one page, you
          have the flexibility to apply a different trap to size, so that you
          can even-out the overall color of the page. Basically (in QuarkXPress)
          you create a solid-colored background behind the text, trap the
          background to the text (by choking it in on the text), and then use a
          positive of the background (with the text knocked out of it) as a
          negative to make the polymer plate. Sounds simple, right? Maybe not,
          but once you get used to the way it works, it really is pretty simple
          (albeit somewhat more time-consuming than just sending an un-trapped
          file to the imagesetter). If you'd like to see some proofs of a test
          page trapped to varying degrees, let me know. I've still got a few
          sheets in my files....
          I've wondered for a long time if I was the only person bothered the
          fat appearance of most polymer type. It is refreshing to in this
          discussion group that there are other people out there similar
          concerns. Will this negative trapping technique work on large blocks
          of text...
        • dpwall@hotmail.com
          Gerald: ... The -.064 choke is neither normative nor maximum. It just happens to be what gave the best overall effect for that particular test page. For best
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 29, 2001
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            Gerald:

            I'm glad you like the proofs. In response to your questions:

            > Is the -.064 choke normative or maximum?
            The -.064 choke is neither normative nor maximum. It just happens to
            be what gave the best overall effect for that particular test page.
            For best results I think you should apply less choke to smaller sizes
            of type, and more to the larger, and it bears some experimentation
            with the amounts applied to different typefaces. I found that
            the "gain" from my laser printer (relative to the high resolution of
            an imagesetter) roughly mimics the gain from letterpress, and it is
            therefore possible to experiment first with laser proofs before
            wasting a lot of expensive film and plate material.

            > How much further could you choke before you experience letterform
            > breakup?
            The amount of additional choke that can be applied depends both on
            the specific typeface design, and on the size at which you are
            reproducing it. Smaller types, and those with finer lines, will start
            to break up before the larger sizes and heavier designs. Quark allows
            a choke of up to -36 points---three whole picas!---which is obviously
            far more latitude than we need for this purpose. In most cases I
            would think an appropriate amount of choke for a text face would be
            between -0.100 and -.008 points, depending on the size and the design.

            > I assume this is possible in PageMaker, Illustrator, InDesign as
            > well, do you know?
            I do not have first-hand experience in trapping/choking with these
            programs, but they undoubtedly must all have some sort of function
            for addressing trapping of colors to one another. If so, they can
            probably be adapted to choke the text the same way that it works in
            Quark.

            > Does this effect leading or other page parameters; line length,
            > text block measure, etc?
            The choking/trapping does not have any significant effect on line
            length or text block size. It basically is just the reverse of the
            gain that you get from ink squeeze on press.

            > What are the difficulties encountered in explaining the trapping to
            > the folks at the service bureau (film house)?
            The problem that I encountered with one film house was just in trying
            to make it clear to them what I wanted the final output to look like.
            It can be confusing because what you need is positive film of the
            colored background (this is what has the choked type knocked out of
            it), which will end up looking kind of like a negative piece of film.
            And of course, the film also needs to be right-reading/emulsion-up.
            For most service bureaus it should not be a problem if you ask them
            for RREU Positive film of the color channel. If they are outputting a
            file that you prepared yourself, they should not need to do anything
            with regard to the trapping/choking. (Note that you do not want film
            for the black channel, even though this is technically the channel
            with the type in it.)

            I hope this is making some sense to everyone. It is much easier for
            me to explain in person, where I can draw diagrams and use hand
            gestures. I will gladly try to answer more questions if you have them.

            With best regards,

            David Wall
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