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Re: Trying To Make A Good Impression

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  • nagraph1
    Realize too that even under good conditions, halftones have always presented challenges to letterpress printers. Magazine work was typically done on rotary
    Message 1 of 51 , Dec 1, 2007
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      Realize too that even under good conditions, halftones have always
      presented challenges to letterpress printers. Magazine work was
      typically done on rotary presses from either stereotypes or
      electrotypes, and precision rotary presses didn't appear on the
      market until the 1930s and 40s--Claybourn, Cottrell, Hoe, Babcock,
      Miehle, Heidelberg, etc all made fairly high quality rotary presses
      late in the letterpress game, but makeready of many hours to days on
      the big 4-color units helped kill the method of printing. Halftones
      done on flatbed presses were often superior to the rotary presses,
      and printing from original plates instead of duplicate plates, like
      electrotypes, imcreased the quality. Platen presses offered the
      greatest challenges, but in my youth, I ignored that and printed many
      halftones on my C&P, often with excellent results--but lots of time
      with makeready, and we had available halftone ink which makes a
      tremendous difference.

      Fritz

      --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Scott Rubel <scott@...> wrote:
      >
      > I love my Delrin trucks, which I finally gave in and bought a few
      > months ago from NA. I did end up turning one set of trucks down to
      > size on a lathe, but I don't think I'll ever go back to adjustables.
      >
      > As for half-tones; when I go look through very old magazines, even
      > those from the 1910s and 20s on coated stock, I can tell they had
      > challenges printing those half-tones. Some of them are quite
      > beautiful, while others would never be acceptable in any modern
      > press. You can also tell that an awful lot of work was done to the
      > half-tones to increase contrast.
      >
      > --Scott
    • okintertype
      Very interesting, and I appreciate the information. I am getting ready to try my first. It will be only 100 lines. The engraver didn t think he could do
      Message 51 of 51 , Dec 4, 2007
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        Very interesting, and I appreciate the information. I am getting
        ready to try my first. It will be only 100 lines. The engraver
        didn't think he could do anything finer, but 100 was all I wanted.
        Maybe I'll try to find another supplier eventually. I will use
        VanSon's oil base ink. I don't have time to order anything
        different, and if it doesn't work, I'll do a different project
        without halftones.

        Stan


        --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "nagraph1" <nagraph@...> wrote:
        >
        > Back in the summer of 1963, I printed a 16 page booklet for my
        > fraternity on my 10x15 C&P platen. I used 133 line halftones made
        by
        > East Texas Engraving (the Owosso of its day). This job ran twice,
        for
        > a total of 1500 copies. I used a regular letterpress halftone ink
        > which is a soft ink, not hard, and it has a gloss to it. I printed
        > type and halftones together, in 2 page spreads. I used traditional
        > makeready, that is, under the tympan using tissue. The text was 14
        pt
        > Times Roman (linotype), cut lines handset 8 pt ATF Garamond, and
        > heads 18 and 30 pt ATF Bulmer Italic. It is printed on 80# gloss
        > coated paper. I don't recall this being a very difficult job and is
        > typical of what I did at the time in my blissful ignorance of what
        > can and can't be done. See
        >
        > http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2285/2086487480_83074cb7ce_b.jpg
        >
        > for a scan of the largest halftone that after the bleed trim is 32
        > x38 1/2 picas. The actual sheet this particular halftone was
        printed
        > on had 2 facing halftones plus text.
        >
        > I think the key to any of this is to experiment. Tips are great and
        > lead one in the right direction, most of the time. I even bought a
        > new skeleton chase so I could print 11x17 sheets of solid type,
        > firmly beliving that a 10x15 should print that big of a form. As I
        > previously noted, I know better now.
        >
        > And yes, I'm in that picture, in the foreground, standing on the
        > rocks. I still have the jacket, the halftone, the hand set type,
        > except now I also own the ATF Bulmer matrices this type was cast
        > from. And the C&P still turns out work for me on a somewhat regular
        > basis. The Linotype work was cast at Edwin Stuart Typographers in
        > Pittsburgh, and I did the printing in Palo Alto, Calif. I also now
        > have a complete run of Times Roman mats for my linotype--it's just
        > taken a while to accumulate all this stuff.
        >
        > Fritz
        >
        > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Gerald Lange" <Bieler@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > Hi Barbara
        > >
        > > You've done a pretty good job. Couple of points regarding halftone
        > > images that might be of use in the future.
        > >
        > > First, yes you do have to clean the image quite a bit and often;
        > fast
        > > drying solvent, lint free tight knit cloth and compressed air.
        Lots
        > of
        > > compressed air. The higher the line screen the more often the
        > cleaning
        > > but despite common wisdom, you can print 150 lpi (on a Vandercook,
        > > even with only a relatively smooth surface of paper) without
        > > difficulty if you take great care in procedure.
        > >
        > > Kiss impression, very tight hard packing, stiff tacky ink,
        > preferably
        > > a half-tone ink. Lewis Roberts used to make these and I used them
        > all
        > > the time for type. I think they got sold to Carlson (sp?) a while
        > > back, probably a long while back. (Carlson made an incredible wood
        > > block black by the way.) They were last handled by Dan Smith I
        > > believe. Maybe they have the old HT formulas. Many ink
        manufacturers
        > > will supply thes old formulas if you are willing to pay a
        premium. I
        > > was able to pick needed collotype ink that had not been made for
        > over
        > > thirty years simply by asking. And paying :-)
        > >
        > > One thing to note, you can control the coverage by closing
        watching
        > > for edge darkening. In your photo the corners are showing this.
        > Clean
        > > the plate at first notice. To build in contrast you can only do so
        > > much with the photo image, even in Photoshop. But a trick is to
        make
        > > two plates, one with a controlled but bland appearance, another
        with
        > > extreme contrast. Print the latter first. Often best to use
        > > transparents when using this technique.
        > >
        > > Halftones tend to work well with high-end sheet photopolymer
        (BASF,
        > > Toyobo) as the surface area slightly conforms to the contrasts of
        > the
        > > imaging following the patterning of the increasing or decreasing
        > gray.
        > > Uniformity of surface height is dictated by contrasting elements;
        > sort
        > > of a built in makeready. With photomechanical engravings this
        would
        > > have to be adjusted by handwork.
        > >
        > >> Gerald
        > > http://BielerPress.blogspot.com
        > >
        >
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