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Re: making your own!!!

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  • bielerpr
    ... Arthur Couple of things I have the urge to comment on here. 1) I m not sure that you would want to attempt to replicate the kind of work that is done from
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 30, 2002
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      > I read the list with interest, i haven't had a go yet to make
      > Photopolmer plates. Next time I go to Sydney I will pick up some
      > plates to have a go!! I have a friend who is willing to help me, he
      > has a box with the uv lights, A5 size. It will be good if we can use
      > some material from the computer along with our Lino/Inter/Ludlow
      > material. The big problem with letterpress is that people have got
      > used to using all drawings and graphics from a computer in offset
      > printing and can't understand that the same thing is not possible in
      > letterpress. I hope that using the Poly plates will overcome this.
      > We have a big job coming up 96 pages plus cover for our local show
      > society, we have a lot of stock blocks that we can use but need to be
      > able to make or buy poly plates as well...
      > Arthur Johnson at Gulgong NSW Australia.

      Arthur

      Couple of things I have the urge to comment on here.

      1) I'm not sure that you would want to attempt to replicate the kind
      of work that is done "from a computer in offset printing" as
      letterpress. More that you can supplement your letterpress needs with
      the computer. I only got involved with photopolymer because it
      allowed me certain advantages in my letterpress work. What you do not
      want to do, is assume you must change the way you envision the page,
      simply because of this differing technology. What is unique about
      digital technology is that it is essentially a simulator of the tools
      of previous technologies, not a tool itself, and that is where it can
      be taken advantage of. I've gone on and on about this previously and
      elsewhere but I believe it constantly bears repeating. The computer
      doesn't have a material basis, you must supply this. In this regard,
      believe it or not, you actually have the advantage over the computer
      design folks because you know what physical spacing and physical
      leading and physical type and physical etc is. In a differing
      context, Eric Gill said, "Letters are things, not pictures of
      things," but, what the hey, I'll use it.

      2) I'd never recommend that someone who is relatively inexperienced
      with photopolymer plates make their own. Best to buy your plates from
      a reputable plate processor. If what you are trying to do is
      replicate traditional letterpress forms, whether they are typographic
      or image, why would you want less than the best of what the past had
      to offer? No one would recommend to a beginning printer to cast his/
      her own type rather than buy it from a foundry would they? A Gerald
      story: Once I bought a Thompson caster. Always wanted one. Thought it
      would be the solution to my problems. That night I read the manual in
      its entirety. I sold the Thompson the very next day. It became quite
      clear to me that what I really wanted to do was print, and to print
      well I would need type that was cast well. And just because I liked
      to entertain the idea of casting my own type didn't mean I would be
      able to do it as well as someone who was trained and experienced as a
      caster. The only thing I ever regretted about selling that Thompson
      was that I was dumb enough to include the boxes of ornament matrices
      that had come with it!

      All best with your project

      Gerald
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